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Pope Benedict XVI Prays for China at Audience

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AP

(14 Apr 10 – RV) An earthquake measuring 6.9 hit the area of Qinghai (southwest China) high on the Tibetan plateau this morning killing at least hundreds of people and injuring thousands more.

Many others are still trapped under the rubble of collapsed houses.

Speaking in Italian at the end of his general audience Pope Benedict “said “My thoughts go to China and the people affected by the strong earthquake that caused heavy losses in lives, injuries and extensive damage. I pray for the victims and I am spiritually close to those who are suffering from such severe disasters, I implore God for relief of suffering and courage in these adversities. I hope that common solidarity will not fail”.

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Rescue workers pull out children from a collapsed building in Yushu county in western China’s Qinghai province on Wednesday, April 14, 2010.

Earlier in his address to the 20 thousand people who had gathered in St Peter’s square, Pope Benedict reflected on the role of the priest, as the Year specially dedicated to the Ordianed Ministry draws to a close:

He said : “I wish to speak in particular of the priest’s configuration to Christ, the head of the Church, through the exercise of the three munera of teaching, sanctifying and governing. In their ministry priests act in persona Christi, “in the person of Christ”. The three munera are in fact actions of the Risen Christ, who even today, through his priests, continues to teach, sanctify and govern his Church. The first of the three munera is that of teaching, so important for our times”.

Pope Benedict continued “The priest is called to preach and teach not himself, but Jesus Christ and his revelation of the Father”.

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