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Pope Benedict XVI condemns Cotabato bombing

July 5, 2009 9:27pm
MANILA, Philippines - Pope Benedict XVI deplored Sunday a bomb attack near a Catholic cathedral in Cotabato City that killed at least five people and wounded more than 29 others.

The Pope, who issued the condemnation after the Angelus prayer at the Vatican, stressed that the use of violence would never bring about a solution to problems.

"And sadly, today as yesterday, this cry is incessant, because human blood continues to flow as a result of violence, injustice and hatred. When will people learn that life is sacred and belongs to God alone? When will people understand that we are all brothers?" he said.

Excerpts of his statement were posted Sunday night on the Asianews Web site.

Pope Benedict also vowed to pray for the victims, among whom were "women and children" and raised his voice to “condemn the use of violence, which is never a way of solving problems."

He pointed out that Christ Himself "did not respond to evil with evil but with good, with his infinite love."

The pope recalled that the first Sunday of July in the past was dedicated to the devotion of the Most Precious Blood of Christ.

Sacrilege

Shortly after the bomb attack, archbishop Orlando Quevedo of the Archdiocese of Cotabato condemned the bombing and called it a "sacrilege."

“The Church they attacked is a place of refuge, even for criminals. People were worshiping when the bomb went off. This is not just a crime, this is a sacrilege," said Quevedo, who was the mass celebrator when the powerful blast happened.

Quevedo was concluding his homily when the bomb went off, he said. “When I heard the blast and saw smoke, I told my parishioners to stay calm and not panic. But I can’t control the crowd," he recounted.

Quevedo has called on the Catholic faithful, well-meaning individuals, and those with other faiths to pray for the conversion of the bombers.

“Violence does not achieve anything. Violence begets violence. Let’s all pray for the conversion of the bombers," Quevedo said in an interview over local radio dxMS. - GMANews.TV