Wednesday, September 17, 2008


ZE08091702 - 2008-09-17

Sends Message to Prayer Meeting Before 63rd Session

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 17, 2008 ( Benedict XVI says the United Nations is facing urgent tasks over the coming months, including its efforts to implement development goals, especially for Africa.

The Pope affirmed this in a message sent on his behalf by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The message was sent to a prayer service held Monday, the eve of the opening of the U.N. General Assembly's 63rd session.

The prayer service was held in New York and led by Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York, and Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

The message said the Holy Father implores the guidance and strength from God, "needed to carry out the urgent tasks facing the United Nations in the coming months, including the continuing implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the [New Partnership for Africa's Development] program and other initiatives aimed at ensuring that the whole human family shares in the benefits of globalization."

The Pontiff further renewed "his appeal to international leaders to reappropriate the lofty moral vision and the transcendent principles of justice embodied in the United Nations' founding documents."

"With these sentiments," the message concluded, "the Holy Father invokes upon all in attendance an abundance of divine blessings, trusting that these moments of reflection and prayer will strengthen them in their commitment to upholding the dignity of each human person and building a world of ever greater solidarity, freedom and peace."

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