September 5, 2009

Pope decries 'absurdity of war,' urges reconciliation

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI decried the absurdity of war and called on people to embrace forgiveness, peace and reconciliation.

Speaking in Polish to pilgrims attending his Sept. 2 general audience, the German-born pope recalled that Sept. 1 marked the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II.

"The human tragedies and the absurdity of war remain in people's memories," he said. The pope was 12 years old and lived in Bavaria when the war began.

"Let us ask God that the spirit of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation pervades the hearts of all people," he added.

He said, "Europe and the world today need a spirit of communion," which should be built upon Christ, his Gospel, charity and truth.

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