Benedict XVI Asks Catholics of the Middle East not to Desert the Holy Land

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
10 Jun 2010

More than 10,000 people came to St. Peter's Square for the general audience with Benedict XVI.

The Pope talked about his visit to Cyprus.  He described it as a historic event, being the first time a Pope had visited the island.

The Pope also said that on his trip he wanted to encourage Cypriot Catholics to keep working for the unity of all christians, especially with the Orthodox.

He continued explaining that his days in Cyprus were a call to end the exodus of Catholics leaving the Middle East.

Benedict XVI
"In Cyprus and throughout the Middle East, Christians are called to overcome divisions and to persevere in their witness to the Gospel in those lands."

Benedict XVI also acknowledged thousands of priests who had come to Rome for the closing ceremonies of the Year for Priests.  He asked that all Catholics continue praying for priests throughout the world.