March 7, 2011.
During the Angelus, Benedict XVI spoke about the recent tragedy in Pakistan when two gunmen killed Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic politician who defended Asia Bibi after she was sentenced to death for blasphemy.
Shahbaz visited the Pope at the Vatican last year when the two discussed issues on religious freedom. Benedict XVI noted that his work as Pakistan's minister for minorities was crucial in promoting equality.
Benedict XVI“I call on Lord Jesus that the moving sacrifice of the life of Pakistani Minister Shahbaz Bhatti may rekindle in people the courage and commitment to protect religious freedom for all mankind and in this way also promote equal dignity for all.”
The Pope also mentioned the recent violence in Libya and expressed his concern over the growing instability in the country.Benedict XVI“My heartsick thoughts go to Libya, where recent clashes have caused many deaths and a growing humanitarian crisis. To all the victims and those who find themselves in anxious situations, I assure my prayer and closeness, as I call for assistance and rescue for the people affected.”
Before departing, the Pope also made a call for people to go “beyond a superficial acceptance of their Christian calling,” saying that life needs to be built on “the solid foundation of the Gospel of Jesus.”