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Sunday, September 25, 2016
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 Many hundreds of thousands gathered in blazing sunshine yesterday for Pope Benedict's open-air Mass - the final major event of his seven-day visit to Camaroon and Angola. The day before, two young women had been killed and several young people injured during a stampede at a huge youth gathering which the Pope presided over.

Pope Benedict began the Mass by expressing his sadness at the tragedy. He said: "I express my solidarity to their families and friends and my deep
sorrow because this happened while they were coming to see me."

The Holy Father then spoke about Angola's recent history, particularly the years of civil conflict that followed independence from Portugal in 1975.
He said the suffering of Angolans was shared by many across the continent. "This experience is all too familiar to Africa as a whole - the destructive power of civil strife, the descent into a maelstrom of hatred and revenge, the squandering of the efforts of generations of good people," he said.

"When God's word... is neglected, and when God's law is ridiculed, despised, laughed at, the result can only be destruction and injustice."

Yesterday's Mass was celebrated on a huge steel stage decorated with pink ribbons in a field which Vatican officials said could hold as many as two million people. Many of the women wore pink sarongs bearing the face of the Pope and Jesus, while others had Pope Benedict's image emblazoned on their T-shirts and baseball caps.

Pope Benedict is due to return to Rome today.

Source: Fides
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Tags: Angola: hundreds of thousands attend Pope's open-air Mass


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