December 6, 2010.
Benedict XVI called for the respect of human rights in Iraq and Egypt. The Pope asked Catholics to pray during Advent to resolve these situations of violence, intolerance, and suffering. In hope that the memory of the birth of Jesus brings “consolation, reconciliation and peace.”Benedict XVI
“Respect for the rights of all is a requisite for civil coexistence. May this, our prayer to the Lord and our solidarity bring hope to those who are suffering.”
The Pope spoke of the “continuous attacks” against Christians and Muslims that occur in Iraq. He also recalled the recent violence in Egypt.
A few weeks ago two Coptic Christians were killed by the police and 50 were wounded during a demonstration calling for the construction of a church in the city of Giza.
The Pope also spoke about the victims of human trafficking and remembered the 250 African refugees who were kidnapped for over a month in the northern Sinai desert area of Egypt that borders Israel.
One of those kidnapped called Vatican Radio asking for urgent help and said they spent days without food and were kept in chains.
The Pope recommended that Advent, the preparation time for Christmas, be spent reading the Bible. He added that faith is strengthened when “enlightened by the Word of God.”
“The liturgy of the Second Sunday in Advent invites us to prepare our hearts for the great mystery of the incarnation. May Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, grant us his grace so that during this time of Advent we may grow ever more faithful to his unfailing love.”
Before the end of the Angelus, the Pope recalled the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, Benedict XVI will go to the Spanish Steps in Rome to pray before the statue of the Virgin.