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Wednesday, October 5, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 5 OCT 2011 (VIS) - Following his catechesis during this morning's general audience the Holy Father launched an appeal to the international community to help people suffering famine in the Horn of Africa.

"Dramatic news continues to arrive concerning the famine which has struck the Horn of Africa", he said. "I greet Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum', and Bishop Giorgio Bertin O.F.M., apostolic administrator of Mogadishu, who are present at this audience with a number of representatives of Catholic charity organisations. They will meet to analyse initiatives aimed at resolving this humanitarian emergency; and their meeting will also be attended by a representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has likewise made a plea in support of the people affected.

"I renew my heartfelt appeal to the international community to continue its commitment to these people. At the same time I invite everyone to offer prayers and concrete support to so many sorely tried brothers and sisters, particularly to the children of the region who are dying every day because of the lack of water and food".

Before making his appeal for Somalia, the Pope had greeted a delegation from the Theology Faculty of the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, which has awarded him with the Apostle Jason of Thessaloniki Gold Medal. "I am deeply honoured by this gracious gesture", he said, "which is an eloquent sign of the growing understanding and dialogue between Catholic and Orthodox Christians. I pray that it will be a harbinger of ever greater progress in our efforts to respond in fidelity, truth and charity to the Lord's summons to unity".
AG/ VIS 20111005 (290)

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