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The Pope leads annual Easter celebration

The holiday Mass was delivered despite rain
March 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Pope Benedict is denouncing "selfishness, injustice, hatred and violence" between individuals and groups as he marks Easter Sunday. The pope also is appealing for peace. He noted particularly the turmoil in Tibet, Iraq and the Holy Land, lamenting what he called the "tormented Middle East." The pope said he encourages all "to seek solutions that will safeguard peace and the common good."

Despite a constant downpour and occasional thunder, thousands of faithful attended the Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square. Commemorating a bedrock Christian belief, the resurrection of Jesus, Benedict said it "broke the chains of death" and that "thousands of persons converted to Christianity" because of the apostles' teaching.

During a service last night, the pope baptized seven adults, including a Muslim-born Italian journalist.


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