Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
VATICAN CITY - In an Easter litany of the world's suffering, Pope Benedict XVI, below, lamented that "nothing positive" was happening in Iraq and decried the unrest in Afghanistan and bloodshed in Africa and Asia.
"How many wounds, how much suffering there is in the world," the pontiff told tens of thousands of pilgrims, tourists and Romans gathered on Sunday at St Peter's Square, where he had just finished celebrating Mass.
Benedict, delivering his traditional Urbi et Orbi Easter speech, denounced terrorism and kidnappings.
"Afghanistan is marked by growing unrest and instability," Benedict said. "In the Middle East, unfortunately, nothing positive comes from Iraq, torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees."
He also had harsh words about the "underestimated humanitarian situation" in Darfur as well as other African countries.
These included violence and looting in Congo, fighting in Somalia and the "grievous crisis" in Zimbabwe.
Benedict, who turns 80 next Monday, said political "paralysis" threatened Lebanon.
"Suffering, evil, injustice, death, especially when it strikes the innocent such as children who are victims of war and terrorism, of sickness and hunger, does not all of this put our faith to the test?"
Benedict ended his appearance by offering Easter greetings in dozens of languages.
This month marks the second anniversary of his election as head of the world's 1,1billion Catholics. -