Pope: 'hear the cry of our little brothers and sisters'

 Pope John Paul II, in reflections made today before reciting the Angelus at noon with the faithful in St Peter's Square, referred to his Lenten Message this year which centred on the precarious situation of countless children in the world who are victims of illness, lack of education and hunger, and asked the faithful to listen to "the anguished appeal" for help by these children. He stressed that many children suffer not only from malnutrition and "worrisome sanitary deprivations" but lack "even the minimum necessary for survival." In addition, he said, "in several places of the world, especially the poorest countries, there are children and adolescents who are victims of a horrible form of violence: they are enlisted to fight in the so-called 'forgotten conflicts'. They undergo in fact a scandalous double aggression: they become both victims and at the same time protagonists of the war, overcome by the hatred of adults. Deprived of everything, they see their future threatened by a nightmare that is difficult to remove. "These little brothers and sisters of ours who suffer hunger, war and illness," he said, "are making an anguished appeal to the world of adults. May their silent cry of pain not go unheard! Jesus reminds us: 'Whoever receives one such child in my name, receives me'." After reciting the Angelus, John Paul II noted that almost "ten years have passed since April 7, 1994 when in Rwanda serious clashes broke out between Hutu and Tutsi, culminating in genocide where hundred of thousands of people were barbarically killed. Let us pray to the Lord that such a tragedy never happens again." He encouraged the people and civil and religious leaders of Rwanda, and the international community, to "not be discouraged" and to work to bring peace to the Great Lakes region. Source: VIS

Share this story