Pope condemns Tel-Aviv bombing

Benedict XVI has expressed his "firmest condemnation" of Monday's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv praying that relations between Israelis and Palestinians would not take a "tragic turn".

Catholic News Agency reports that the pope made the comments at the end of his weekly general audience, which fell on the first anniversary of his election as pontiff.

The pope said that even the "legitimate" rights of the Palestinians could not justify such attacks. The attack on a crowded fast food restaurant - said to be the deadliest in 20 months - killed nine people.

He says he is continually praying that the two sides will make substantial efforts to "live in peace and security, one next to the other, as children of the same father in heaven."

Also at yesterday's general audience, the pope asked people for their continued prayers on his first anniversary as pope.

"How time flies," the pope told the 50,000 faithful who packed St Peter's Square as he recalled that exactly one year ago the College of Cardinals elected him to succeed the much-loved and "the great pope, John Paul II."

He said he was still moved by the memory of appearing at the central window of St Peter's Basilica right after his election to the cheers of nearly 100,000 people jammed into the square.

He said the grace of God and the prayers and help of all people, near and far, have given him the strength to accomplish a mission that "alone I could never carry out."

The pope said seeing the large presence of pilgrims at his public appearances gives him the feeling that the faithful are there with him, helping him. Their presence shows "I am in great communion (with you), and together we can carry forward the Lord's mission," he said.

Statistics released this week show that over four million people have attended his public events in the first year of his pontificate.

In his general audience, the pope called on people to keep living the joy of the Easter season and to proclaim the good news to all corners of the earth.

He said that the faithful must aim for higher, celestial things, not for earthly gains. This does not mean a person should ignore daily tasks or avoid reality, he said, it means people can "perk up" human activity with the "breath" of the divine.

Pope Benedict firmly condemns Tel-Aviv bombing (Catholic News Agency 19/4/06)

Pope says he cannot do job alone (Irish Times 19/4/06)
John L Allen: Benedict's first year (National Catholic Reporter 21/4/06)
Blessings all round from the iPod Pope (The Observer 16/4/06)
On anniversary, Pope wants to be mild yet firm (Reuters 19/4/06)
Kenya: Pope needs to include Africa in his agenda (African News Dimension 19/4/06)
Pope joins condemnation of Tel Aviv attack (AsiaNews.it 19/4/06)
Benedict XVI: Becoming pope one year ago, "absolutely unexpected and surprising" (AsiaNews.it 19/4/06)
One year after election, pope asks people for continued prayers (Catholic News Service 19/4/06)
Media reports spiritual revival in Germany triggered by Benedict XVI (Catholic News Agency 19/4/06)
'Pray to God to allow me to be a meek and steady pastor of his Church', asks Pope on first anniversary of election (Catholic News Agency 19/4/06)
Sandro Magister: Benedict XVI, One Year Later: What's New (L'Espresso 19/4/06)
Pope Benedict Celebrates First Anniversary Since Election (Christian Today 19/4/06)
One year ago: a new Pope (Catholic World News 19/4/06)
Pope Benedict's first year, by the numbers (Catholic World News 19/4/06)
One year ago: a cardinal recalls his fateful announcement (Catholic World News 19/4/06)
Pope firmly condemns Palestinian terror bombing (Catholic World News 19/4/06)
On anniversary, Pope thanks faithful for prayerful support (Catholic World News 19/4/06)
German Catholics responding to native Pope (Catholic World News 19/4/06)
Appraising Pope Benedict's first year (Catholic World News 19/4/06)
Benedict XVI Marks First Year of Papacy (The Guardian/Associated Press 19/4/06)
Benedict's surprising first year (The Post.ie 16/4/06)
The Pope's First Year: How He Simplified His Role (Time 18/4/06)
Benedict XVI General Audience - text (19/4/06)
Pope's 1st Year Lacks An Ideological Edge (Washington Post 19/4/06)

20 Apr 2006