Pope grieves following Israel bomb attack
Pope John Paul II expressed grief and concern on Sunday over the suicide attacks that killed at least 25 and wounded more than 200 in Israel at the weekend.
The Holy Father also reminded the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square that Sunday was the first day of Advent, the liturgical season of preparation for Christmas.
"Advent is synonymous with hope," hope in God, who is incarnated at Christmas, the Pope said. He cited Sunday's liturgy which quoted the prophet Isaiah: "One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again."
"These words contain a promise of peace more urgent than ever for humanity and, in particular, for the Holy Land, from where even today, unfortunately, sad and worrying news reaches us," the Holy Father lamented.
In the latest of the three weekend attacks, a powerful bomb ripped through a bus in Haifa today, killing at least 16 people and injuring about 35 others, CNN reported.
The Pope urged the faithful to join the day of fasting and prayer for peace which he has called for 14 December in association with the meeting of representatives of the world's religions, which will be held in Assisi on 24 January.