Rise to the challenge of the riots: Pope to France

19th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

VATICAN CITY, Dec 19 (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Monday condemned recent rioting in suburbs of French cities with large populations of immigrant origin but told France it had to rise to the challenge revealed by the unrest.

VATICAN CITY, Dec 19 (AFP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Monday condemned recent rioting in suburbs of French cities with large populations of immigrant origin but told France it had to rise to the challenge revealed by the unrest.

"Your country has just lived through a difficult period, in social terms, which has shown a deep dissatisfaction among some young people," he told the new French ambassador to the Vatican, Bernard Kessedjian.

"This situation seems to have touched not only the suburbs of major cities, but more deeply all sections of the population."

The pope said the violence "could only be condemned" but argued that it sent a message that had to be heard.

He said "young people (need) an ideal of society and a personal ideal to give them reason to live and hope."

Pope Benedict spoke of the contribution made by foreign workers and their families and said "the challenge consists today of living the values of equality and fraternity, part of the values quoted in France's motto."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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