Pope prays for peace, diplomacy and compassion
Pope Benedict XVI offered an Easter prayer yesterday for diplomacy to prevail over warfare in Libya and for citizens of the Middle East to build a new society based on respect.
He also called on Europeans to welcome refugees from North Africa.
"In heaven, all is peace and gladness. But, alas, all is not so on earth!" the Pope lamented as he delivered the traditional "Urbi et Orbi" message from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica to a crowd of more than 100,000 in St Peter's Square.
"In the current conflict in Libya, may diplomacy and dialogue replace arms, and may those who suffer as a result of the conflict be given access to humanitarian aid," he said.
Referring to North Africa and the Middle East, the Pope prayed that all citizens, especially young people, would "work to promote the common good and to build a society where poverty is defeated and every political choice is inspired by respect for the human person".