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Pope asks Catholics to pray for Iraq peace

Written by: Staff

VATICAN CITY, Apr 2 (Reuters) Pope Benedict today asked Catholics to pray for peace in Iraq.

Speaking at his today noon message in St Peter's Square, the Pope asked Catholics around the world to join in an initiative by the local bishops in Iraq, who have urged the faithful there pray and fast for peace for two days on Monday and Tuesday.

''This is an appeal that really touches our heart,'' he said.

''I invite everyone to adhere in this initiative of our brothers in that martyred country...,'' he said.

Benedict's predecessor, John Paul, opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Reuters CH BD1828

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