|Vatican||POPE CALLS FOR END TO RACISM|
Pope John Paul II has called on humanity to renounce racism and xenophobia, in his traditional Easter message from Rome.
The Pope also prayed for a more just world in which "the blind egoism of the few will not prevail over the cries of pain of the many in their misery".
A crowd of at least 100,000 pilgrims packed St Peter's Square for the traditional Easter mass and blessing called "Urbi et Orbi" - the Latin expression for "to the city and to the world".
John Paul made also an appeal for human rights to be respected not only by governments but also by individuals.
He asked for "effective responses to the increasingly felt demand for justice and equal opportunity in all areas of society."
In the message, he prayed for "a happy outcome" to difficult peace talks trying to bring an end to conflicts in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and some parts of Europe.
The two-hour mass was broadcast live to millions of people in 60 countries. The Pope made his appeals shortly before he read Easter greetings to the world in 61 languages.