Pope stresses peace, workers' rights, unity in first Sunday blessing
Published: May 2, 2005
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI delivered his first Sunday noon blessing and launched appeals for peace, for the defense of workers' rights and for unity between Catholic and Orthodox Christians. "I address you for the first time from this window, which my beloved predecessor rendered so familiar to innumerable people around the world," Pope Benedict said May 1. A crowd of nearly 100,000 gathered in the square to see the new pontiff and started to applaud even before he appeared at the window of the Apostolic Palace. The first wave of applause started as soon as his aides unfurled the red and gold cloth that hangs from the window whenever the pope speaks. Following in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict used his Sunday noon appearance to express concerns over current world events and to launch appeals. "In these days I find myself thinking often of all peoples who suffer because of war, illness and poverty," the German pope said. "In particular, today, I am close to the dear populations of Togo, ravaged by painful internal conflicts. For all these nations I implore the gift of harmony and peace."
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