Thursday, September 09, 2004

Pope Condemns Russian School Violence

At least 326 people were murdered last week in the school hostage siege at Beslan in Russian province of Ossetia. The Pope spoke out against the violence, blamed on Chechen separatists.

According to Reuters:

Speaking on the day Roman Catholics commemorate the birth of the Madonna, the Pope said it was outrageous that children had found hate and death within the walls of a school.

"Looking at the infant Mary, how can we not think of all the little innocents at Beslan, in Ossetia, victims of a barbarous kidnapping who were tragically cut down," he said, having some difficulty pronouncing his words at his general audience.

"They were in a school, a place where one learns values that give meaning to history, to culture and the civilisation of peoples: mutual respect, solidarity, justice and peace," he said in halting Italian.

Read more: Reuters AlertNet - Pope says Russian children victims of cruel fanaticism

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