Pope blames indifference for hunger deaths | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Pope blames indifference for hunger deaths

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing at the end of a Vespers ceremony in St. Paul Outside the Walls' Basilica in Rome, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI says the world is marked by religious indifference and is decrying what he calls a "growing aversion" to Christians. The pontiff is also urging Christians to overcome their differences through dialogue so that they can unite their efforts to influence debates in society on ethical issues like abortion, euthanasia and the limits of science and technology. Benedict was leading a Vespers service Monday evening in Rome's Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. The occasion drew to a close a week that the Vatican each year dedicates to prayers for Christian unity. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Benedict XVI earlier this month blamed indifference as the fundamental cause of hundreds of millions of deaths in the world from lack of food, water and medicine.

Benedict chose justice and injustice as the theme of his Lenten message released by the Vatican on Feb. 4 in several languages.

Lent, a period of reflection and penitence in the Roman Catholic church, beagn this week with Ash Wednesday. Benedict said this Lenten season he wants people to reflect on what justice really means for human beings.

Jesus, who fed crowds of followers and healed the sick while he preached, “surely condemns the indifference that even today forces hundreds of millions into death through lack of food, water and medicine,” the pope said, without citing any country or region in the world.

“Injustice, the fruit of evil, does not have exclusively external roots. Its origin lies in the human heart, where the seeds are found of a mysterious cooperation with evil,” Benedict wrote in his message.

Lent prepares Catholics for the church’s most important holy day, Easter, which this year falls on April 4.

The 82-year-old Benedict will lead several Holy Week services starting with Palm Sunday Mass on March 28 in St. Peter’s Square. Among his appearances will be the traditional way of the Cross procession at the Colosseum on Good Friday.

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