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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE asks Turkey to stop Oppression against Democratic Alternative for Kurds +slams Terrorism on Army

CoE asks Turkey to stop Oppression against Democratic Alternative for Kurds +slams Terrorism on Army

Parašė ACM
Friday, October 21, 2011

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The President of CoE watchdog for Local/Regional Democracy (CLRAE), experienced British representative of the Governing Coalition (Liberal) Keith Whitmore, replying to an "EuroFora" question, stressed that, "certainly",  so many (even Elected) "People being locked up in Jail" in Turkey for three years without Trial, "are Not Acceptable", both because "Human Rights are at the Core of CoE's mission" and also from the Democratic standards point of view.


    Whitmore was speaking of the "Massive Detention of local Elected Politicians" among more than 3.000 People ("Local Officials, Human Rights Activists", etc) from the Kurdish Minority in Turkey since the 2009 Local and Regional Elections, for which the PanEuropean Congres of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRAE) just decided to ask its "Monitoring Committee to closely look" at the matter, "in the light ..of the European Charter of Local Self-Government", that Ankara's Government has to respect.


    The move came in a larger framework of what appeares as an indirect but crystal clear CoE call on Turkey to lift oppresive obstacles to Democratic Alternatives for the Kurdish Minority, while alsoi condemning those who push towards Terrorism and Military clashes after attacks against the Turkish Army at the Iraqi borders, prolonging violent deadly clashes which have already durated more than 30 Years (1984-2011), witout conclusion, showing the need for a Political, Democratic Solution, as Turkey was reminded, (See infra).


     CLRAE's Bureau also decided to ask CoE's "Commissioner of Human Rights", Thomas Hammarberg from Sweden, "to look into the issue of the Detention of local Elected Politicians in Turkey, in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights", whose violations are condemned by Strasbourg's PanEuropean Court.


    Moreover, CLRAE called "the President of the (Pan)European Committee for the prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatments .. (CPT) to examine the Detention Conditions" of jailed Kurdish Elected Politicians such as "Ms Leyla Guven" (a former CLRAE Member) in the Diyarbakir E-type Prison".


    F.ex. Guven "has to share with 23 inmates Rooms normally foreseen for 8 Persons" only, (i.e. 400% overcrowded !!!), with the result to be obliged, every night, to Sleep only for a few Hours in a bed, shared in turns, one after the other (!), as CLRAE's Heads of Delegation, who visited her on the spot after years-long efforts, mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP Swedish representative Anders Knape, CLRAE's vice-President,  and Socialist representative Leen Verbeek, vice-President of the Dutch Delegation to the CLRAE, denounced during Plenary Debates earlier this week.  Moreover, she has to consecrate the 3 only Hours per Week during which she is allowed by the Turkish Authorities to communicate with other People, just to try to care for the City which elected her Mayor, without Time to see her Children, during all these 3 Years closed in a Prison where "showering Water is only available for a Short period of Time each day", with a "Poor Sanitation", Hindered to Speak in Court in her Mother Tongue : Kurdish, etc., all this resulting in clear "signs of Stress, such as Perspiration and tension", typical of the "Prisoner Syndrom", etc.
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     - But, "instead of having just one or two Statements, I think it's better to set in motion a real Proces", allowing to work in a "Rational, Sensible way, with Factual Arguments, to talk with  the appropriate authorities, and, at the End of this, to have a Proper Reform" and real Change, "rather than only some kind of ephemeral, verbal reaction", President Whitmore went on in his Reply to "EuroFora"s Question, explaining thus why CLRAE''s Bureau also asked him to "Regularly Inform (CoE's) Committee of Ministers", its Top Political body, as well as CoE's "Parliamentary Assembly", etc., in an obvious effort to Start using at the same time various CoE's Monitoring Mechanisms all together vis a vis Turkey, including on the Conditions for Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid, "regarding the need to improve Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law".

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    - Because CLRAE's Delegation, which has just made a Visit on the spot, after years of refusal by the Turkish Authorities, strongly denounced in its Report that such "an apparently Systematic, Massive and On-Going Persecution of Local Politicians, is UNDERMINING local DEMOCRACY" !
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    => Therefore, the Vice-President of CLRAE's Monitoring Committee, and vice-Chairman of the French Delegation, Socialist mainstream representative Francis Lec, asked in the most official terms, and "on behalf of all the French Delegation", to "immediately release" the imprisoned former CLRAE Member Mrs Leyla Gulen, after 3 years of jail without even trial.

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    - Indeed, "we (CoE) can't just Sit down and Wait !" for even longer, denounced also CoE's co-Rapporteur on the issue of the 3.000 Kurdish Elected and other Local/Regional Officials which are still Jailed since the 2009 Elections, vice-President of the Dutch Delegation, Leen Vebeck.

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    - A fortiori when the jailed Kurdish Elected representatives such as Mes Gulen, "Reject very clearly any Armed struggle", focusing just on Peaceful and Democratic ways for Political debate, as observed also CLRAE's experienced vice-President, Swedish ChristianDemocrat representative Anders Knappe.

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    - As for the freedom for her and other jailed politicians to speak their Mother Tongue in Turkish Courts, Austrian representative Mrs Gudrun Mosler-Tornstrom observed that, in several European hotspots this is legally possible, thanks to Interpreter's help, and proposed for CoE's Legal/Constitutional watchdog known as "Venice Committee for Democracy through Law" to advise the Turkish Government on how to proceed, if needed, with adapting its law on this point.

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 - "I hope that this (CoE criticism on Turkey) would help also Many others among those Elected Officials in Jail" since 2009, f.ex. by speeding up Trials and hopefully liberating most of them, said also to "EuroFora" the experienced former CLRAE President, and current vice-President of its Chamber for Local Authorities, Halvdan Skard from Norway, pointing, at his own Initiative, at this issue, as one of the "most Important" for this CLRAE  session.


    In addition, CLRAE's Bureau had decided since Monday to exceptionaly Publish the Report on the Visit to Detained Kurdish Mayors in Turkey, before starting to hold the above-mentioned Critical Debate at CLRAE's Plenary, as a matter of Urgency, from Tuesday Morning.


    Unfortunately, the anouncements made afterwards by the Turkish Government on violent events on Military outposts which reportedly followed shortly in the Hakkari regions' borders with Iraq (see infra), obviously questioned CoE's "speed" to act, particularly on an issue which remains unsolved for more than 3 Years since the 2009 arrest of many Thousands of Kurdish Elected and other Local/Regional Offcials after the latest Local Elections in Turkey..
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    => With these and other Measures from the beginning of this week (see infra), CoE in substance called upon Turkey to stop undermining Democracy in Kurdish areas after massive arrests and persisting long imprisonment of elected representatives even without trial, etc., in order to allow a Democratic Alternative to the Kurdish Minority, as the best antidote to those who push for "terrorist" attacks against the Turkish Military close to Iraqi borders, that CoE also condemned, despite claims thar they might have been "provoked" by new Arrests and Military incursions of the Turkish Army, (which afterwards found, as usual, in such series of events, another opportunity to launch even more massive attacks against Kurdish rebels inside Iraqi territory)...


    Incite Ankara to Solve the Kurdish problem with Democratic means, conrtary to persisting Oppression which reportedly triggered more conflicts, showing once more the limits of Ankara's mainly Military option, appeared, indeed, as the main aim of several CoE's key Officials this week.


    The move unfolded during a strange Series of Events, spread along several Days, starting by a beginning of initial Criticism of the Massive Detention conditions of more than 3000 Elected and other Kurdish Local/Regional Officials, from Monday and Tuesday, followed by alleged "provocations" by even more arrests and afterwards even Military incusrions by the Turkish Army, and resulting towards Wednesday by reported simultaneous attacks of Kurdish rebels against Turkish "Military" targets around the border with the Kurdish Region of Iraq, which, in turn, gave an opportunity for the Turkish Government and Army to launch a Massive Attack, reportedly with Airplanes, Drones, Rockets and Tanks by many Thousands of Military troops inside Iraq.

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CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, stressed that " the only effective antidote against terrorism is more Democracy and more Human rights", (as even Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan had said himself in the Past), while CLRAE's President, Brittish Liberal Keith Whitmore, speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg, agreed thatr it's obvious that the Kurdish problem cannot be dealt with by Military means, but needs a Political Solution.
Both spoke on the occasion of "attacks on Military installations in Hakkari", (Jagland), which "resulted in the deaths of at least 26 Turkish Soldiers" and "Police officers", (as Turkish Chairman of CoE's paneuropean Assembly Cavusoglou also noted), concerning "Military outposts in Hakkari in Turkey", i.e. at the Borders with Iraq, as Whitmore's relevant statement observed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Jagland from Norway also conveyed his "deepest condolences to the families of the 26 Turkish Soldiers who were killed", but also, expressed, more generally, our (CoE's) Solidarity with the People of Turkey who have been suffering from Terrorist Violence for Decades", (1984-2011).


Turkish outgoing rotating Chair of CoE's Parliamentary Assemblmy, Mevlut Cacusoglou, was more outspoken and obviously unilateral, by declaring "outraged by the Terrorist attachs in S/E Turkey which resukted in the deaths of at least 26 Turkish Soldiers". He also "condemn(edà in the strongest terms the authors of these horrendous acts, as well as (a previous) attack on (Turkish) Police Officers", also attributed by Ankara to Kurds. "Terrorists will never achieve their ends through violence and bloodshed", added Cavusoglou just after CoE started to deal with more than 3.000 arrested Elected representatives of Kurds, jailed in Turkish Prisons since the 2009 Local/Regional Elections (see supra). "They do not defend ideas, they seek only to propagate hatred and barbarity". That's why "their acts are a crime against us all", he concluded in a statement co-signed also by Ukranian Foreign Minister Gryschenko.

CLRAE's President, Keith Whitmore, also "declared, the day after the attack on the Military outposts in Hakkari in Turkey";  that, "the Congress strongly condemns the violent attack perpetrated by the PKK which led to a large number of victims. No cause can be defended by terrorist acts. In fact, this attack undermines the basic foundations of our Democratic society", he stressed.

According to various mainstrearm International Media, Kurdish rebels reportedly claimed that they would have been "provoked" by incursions of the Turkish Army and denounced the still on-going 3 Years-long Mass-arrest and Imprisonment even of some 3.000 Elected Mayors, Regional Governors, Municipal and/or Regional Counsilors, etc. since the 2009 Local and Regional Elections

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+ CLRAE/PACE  : "Destructive" measures against L/R Democracy in Turkey, + "Excessive" Threshold (+10%) in National Elections
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    - On the Local/Regional level, CoE's watchdog for Local and Regional Democracy, CLRAE, recently debated and voted a Resolution denouncing the Turkish Authorities for having imposed measures against "Democracy" which are "Destructive", such as the mass Arrests and Jailings of Mayors and Regional Counselors shortly after being Elected, since the beginning of 2009,  (See "EuroFora"s relevant 3/2011 NewsReport).


    + On the National level, the exclusion of any Party which doesn't get more than 10% of votes Nationwide, even if it succceeds to have more than 60% or 70% f.ex. in the Kurdish areas, practically hindering Kurds' normal representation inside the Turkish Parliament, was notoriously denounced as an "Excessive" "Threshhold", without equivalent in any other among PanEuropean CoE's 48 Member Countries, according mainly to a critical CoE Assembly's Report drafted by mainstream MEP former President of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Luc Van Den Brande, (former Prime Minister of Flanders' Federated State in Belgium, and current President of EU's Committee of Regions' body for Governance, Citizens and Public Administration).


[But the initially powerful and experienced EuroPolitician was afterwards reportedly undermined and practically pushed to quit the CoE on 2009, (focusing later on only on EU issues), following an unprecedented in CoE's History manoeuver, so that nobody else raised anew the issue of that "Excessive" Electoral Threshhold in order to criticize Ankara until now.. However, Van den Brande was exceptionaly present in Strasbourg this week, as a speaker on "Multi-Level Governance", while CoE's bodies were apparently coordinating their views on the aggravating problems of Democracy in Turkey]...
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    - Thus, in a subsequent exchange of views at CLRAE's Plenary, after an intervention by a Turkish representative asking to merely condemn the Kurdish rebels' attacks on the Turkish Military outposts at the Borders with the Kurdish Region of Iraq, experienced, mainstream French representative Jean-Louis Testud,, from the Governing party UMP, (ChristianDemocrats/EPP : Center-Right), reminded to Turkey that, more or less recently, "even several European Countries like, Spain, Italy, Ireland, the UK, France, etc, faced in the past various problems of Violent Minorities who wanted to be represented (as such)".

    - F.ex. "Spain was intransigeant against Terrorism, naturally, but it started a Dialogue with the Basques, it helped them to have access to Democracy, it listened to what they had to say, and, today, it's a problem which is on the process of being solved", Testud observed, speaking  just a day before Basques' ETA anounced that it "definitively" drops armed struggle, for the 1st time in History !...


    + Also the Kurdish problem, it's a problem which can be solved, just like the Northern Ireland issue, the Basque issue,  or ours were solved", Testud pointed out optimistically :

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    => Therefore, "I believe that if Turkey is really willing to solve the Kurdish problem, they will start a Dialogue with Kurds who are for Democracy, and isolate those who stand for Terrorism", he advised, (according to a schema which has become obvious af the latest National Election of June 2011 in Turkey : Comp. "EuroFora"s relevant NewsReport). In consequence, he "ask(ed) from at least 1 Member of the Turkish Delegation to strongly defend the Democratic Rights of all Elected Kurdish representatives who are Unfairly thrown into Prison !"


But in vain... : There was not any positive reply from the Turkish side.., except from the launch of a Massive Turkish Military attack which reportedly started to kill Hundreds of Kurds, mainly at the Iraqi side of the border, believed to be rebels.


Meanwhile, pro-Kurdish "Peace and Democracy Party" (BNP)  co-Chair Demirtas, strongly criticized Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, accusing him to face Kurds' recent moves for "Peace" and "Dialogue" only with "Violence" and more "Arrests", by "Hidding the Truth on Burned Villages", "Torture", etc., as well as by voting a "War memorandum" in the Turkish Parliament "2 Weeks ago", as he said, reportedly speaking during a gathering near the recent incidents at Hakkari, in Van.

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A Final Version, more accurate and complete, is due asap).


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Benedict's "Source" to revitalize Europe : - "The World needs Hope", Pope says, calling to relaunch E.U. via Human Rights !

Paris - Lourdes - Strasbourg : 12 - 17 September 2008.

The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People, said Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently chairs the EU.

Sarkozy replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics.

- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.

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- "It's important that during France's EU Presidency, there is, indeed, a desire for the Church to contribute to protect Human Person's integrity, and I think that there is also a growing Conscience, beyond any polemics, to defend Human Rights, and, thus, contribute to ensure respect for Human Dignity", added to "EuroFora" the Pope's Spokesman, Vatican's Press Director Federico Lombardi.

- "Nobody really told us here that Lisbon Treaty was good for this or that reason to the People. They only told us that we "had" to ratify it, and tried to scare us, but failed", said 2 Irish pilgrims to "EuroFora", after 2 Majority Abstentions in 1999 and 2004 EU Elections and 3 "NO" to Referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the Irish "No" in 2008, during a Decade of EU Crisis since the controversial Turkey EU- bid (1999-2008).

More than .."224 cases of Murders, Torture, "Disappearancies" or Destructions" by "agents of Turkish Security forces", where all those responsible for so heavy Crimes still remain scandalously unpunished, despite regular condemnations of Ankara by Strasbourg''s European Court of Human Rights from 1996 to 2008, were examined the same week by CoE's Ministers, who decided to launch a fresh call "urging" the Turkish Authorities to end this dangerous "virtual Impunity" of criminals, without comparison to European countries.

- "Why not Ukraine, instead of Turkey ?", asked EuroFora a Journalist from "Kiev : the city where it's enough to cross the streets in order to realize that it's a European town", as Sarkozy recently said, before solemnly declaring this week, together with Ukranian President Jushenko and EU Commission's chair Baroso, EU's "recognition that Ukraine is a fully European Country, linked to Europe by culture and History".

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Europe's "Christian roots" and Values, with "openess and mutual respect" to other cultures and beliefs, were highlighted by Sarkozy in harmony with Benedict XVI.

The Human person should be protected "from his inception until his natural death", added the Pope, faithful to BioEthic principles defended by his predecessor and collaborator, John Paul II, of topical importance in France, Europe and the World today, as Sarkozy announced :

- "Fast and important progres in Genetic Science and procreation raise delicate BioEthical Questions to our Democracies", which "involve our view of Humans and Life, and can lead to Social Mutations. That's why they cannot remain only a business of experts", hestressed.

- "It's Politician's responsibility to set a proper framework for such Public Debates", as "France will do on BioEthics in 2009". "Religious and Philosophic traditions must take part, with their ideas and centuries' long experience : A positive Laicity is an open invitation to Dialogue", he said.

- "France engaged in Europe at another Debate on how to make Financial Capitalism more moral", and the "Social doctrine of the Church fits well what is at stake in modern Globalized Economy"

- "But, a "Real Dialogue is not for an elite of a Globalized world : It penetrates deep into the People : That's why Churches should actively participate : .. It's bringing New Oxygen to Public Debates", stressed Sarkozy.

- "Democracy must not be cut off Reason", which is "compatible with Faith", thanks to "the meeting between Christianism and Greek philosophy ", he added, referring to Pope's views. "It means to advance with logic arguments, search what's best and respect common principles of thinking :... It's an everyday need for Public Administration and the Political Debate", he added.
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Pope Benedict's 1st visit to France looked like the start of a brillant, manifold demonstration that this was well-founded and could become true in the lives of the People : After its Theoretical foundations unfolded at a "speech to the world of Culture", inaugurating Bernadins' cultural centre, and its dogmatic instrument shaped at an address to the Clergy in the Historic Notre Dame' Cathedral, he started to resolutely reach out to the People :

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The move went upwards like Bach's music : Begining with a call to more than fifteen thousand enthousiastic Youngsters gathered at Notre Dame's parvis with overnight celebrations, it gained strength in an impressive open-air Mass at Paris'central Invalides'area facing Alexander III's bridge, attended by more than 150.000 people, French Prime Minister Fillon, many Ministers, Foreign Ambassadors, etc, and culminated in a series of pan-European Mega-meetings at Lourdes 150th anniversary, together with all French Bishops, EU Commission's vice-Chairman Barrot, and some 200.000 enthousiastic People from all over Europe and beyond : After a Sea of Lights astonishingly braved Saturday Night's rain, an open-air mass at riverside fields among Pyrenees' Mountains Sunday Morning, was followed on Monday by a Sea of "Compassion" to those facing Health or Life threats, surrounded by an endless gathering of People, whose gigantic dimensions obviously surprised the organisers..

Meanwhile, Benedict had the occasion to speak to the French Priests at Notre Dame of Paris, and with the Bishops at Lourdes, where they prepare a crucial November plenary meeting, due to take important decisions on imminent EU debates and choices about Europe's identity, BioEthics, etc.
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- "A new way of thinking about Laicity has become necessary", agreed the Pope with President Sarkozy at Elysee. While keeping the "distinction between Politics and Religion, to guarantee Citizens' Liberty", "religion is important for shaping Consciousness and contributing, together with others, to create a basic Ethical Consensus in society".

- "Searching Essential realities", (as "God" for christians), needs "Speech : "Logos" in greek, i.e. Reason", "able to shape a Community","with creative work transforming Human History". But "Dialogue" is instrumental for "Reason", because it's the way to "search" for Truth", in "Liberty", according to Greek Platonic Philosophy, with Socrates' dialectics. "Reason" implies "Spirit and Liberty", hence the polyphonic "Music" of "Dialogue", in a responsible, "well balanced" way, to avoid "destruction".

Starting with a "Dialogue between christians and intellectual or artistic movements" highlighted at Bernardins' Cultural Center. with former Presidents Chirac and Giscard d'Estain, UNESCO's chair Anastassopoulos, etc., as well as representatives of Muslim Communities, (including a separate Turkish), after contacts with Jews at Vatican's Embassy, the Pope turned towards the People :

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To French Priests : "Church built on the rock" !
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- Speaking to thousands of French Priests at Notre Dame's Cathedral, Benedict highlighted a solid "Church built on the Rock" of conscious and active persons, transmitting "a lively, energetic and sharp" "God's Speech, actively working on Human History".

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"Praying together" with "representatives of Christian Churches and ecclesiastic communities", (as Orthodoxes, Armenians, Protestants, etc), he called "to reinforce the Unity of the church", against "any form of Division", around Holy Spirit', "the Word","Christ's Justice", and "Love" to fellow- humans : Essentials which "resume all holy scripts", as he said.

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To Young People : "New Horizons"
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To some 15.000 enthousiastic Young People at Notre Dame's parvis, along Seine's river, Benedict spoke about "the Energy of the Holy Spirit" and "the Mystery of the Cross" : - "The Holy Spirit opens New Horizons to Human Intelligence .. and makes it conscious of the real greatness of Christ's sacrifice, dying and resurecting for World's life".

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Some "may slander you as crazy, laugh at you, or even persecute you. But, "the Holy Cross is a symbol of God's love", and "givesmoral strength" : "Witness of People's pains, it's at the same time, a precious, unique expression of their Hopes", he told them at Paris' dawn.

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Invalides' plateau : "People chosen to become God's friends"
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At the 1st open-air Mass in Paris' center area of Invalides, facing the Grand Palais, along the river Seine, during an impressive gathering of more than 150.000, French Prime Minister Fillon, Ministers Alliot-Marie, Bachelot, Dati, Jouyet, Assembly's President Accoyer, Senate's Chair Poncelet, former 1st Lady Bernadette Chirac, former Prime Minister Raffarin, many foreign Ambassadors, and other political personalities were present. (While earlier, from the Socialist opposition, Paris' Mayor Delanoye, artist Robert Hussein a.o. assisted at the Elysee meeting).

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But the "Entry Song" focused on the "People chosen to become God's Friends". The September 11 mass was Dedicated to "Saint Chrysostomus, that great priest of Constantinople", with his "wonderful eloquence and great courage to face challenges", who "made out of despaired and godless people, a people of brothers", opening a possibility to "become all one complete entity", as Pope Benedict reminded.

- "Reason never enters in real contradiction with Faith", stressed Pope Benedict, who prepared his speeches for France during a short Summer rest at Brixen/Bressanone's Seminar, whose Library honors both "Faith and Science".. - "We must use not only our Reason, but also our Faith" : "Get away from Idolatry", "cupidity", "avidity for money, power or even knowledge deviating from essential aims", and other "falses appearances". and "build your Home on the Rock", "with the force that Holy Spirit gives to those who let it act in them", he said to the People of Paris.

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Benedict at Lourdes : - "Become Light (even) in the Dark !"
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- "Our World needs Hope", stressed Pope Benedict, addressing an impressive TorchLight procession at Lourdes' sanctuaries, where a Sea of Lights held by Hundreds of Thousands of People gathered at Pyrenee's Mountains from all over Europe astonishingly kept their flames despite a heavy Rain at a windy Dark Night...

- "150 years earlier (1858 - 2008), ..here, in the cave, ... a simple young girl, Bernadette .. saw a Light". "The everyday life of her Family was, however, made of Misery, Sadness, Sickness, Misunderstandings, Rejection and Poverty... It was hard to live in Jail". Today, "we think to all Human Beings who suffer : The innocent Victims who face Violence, War, Terrorism, Hunger, Injustices, Catastrophes, Hate and Oppression, Violations of Human Dignity and of their fundamental Rights, of their Liberty to act and think. We also think to those who face Familial problems, sufferings from Unemployment, Sickness, Infirmity, Isolation, or their situation as Immigrants, without forgetting those who suffer and die for the name of Christ", he said.

- "But the Shadows of the Earth, did not hinder Sky's Light to shine : <<The Light shines in the Dark>>" ..."A Way full of Light opens in Human History even in its Darkest moments" : ..."As Night falls, Christ tels us : <<- Keep your Lamps alight !>>."Hold a Light while walking in the Night .. sums up our condition as Christians on their way : "We need light, and we are called to become Light !", Benedict stressed to People setting in motion Lights, Flags and Songs with enthousiasm.

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"<<- She looked at me as a Person, who speaks to another Person>>, the poor girl had noted."Light emerges from such a Dialogue", stressed the Pope : "A small Flame called Hope, Compassion and Tenderness dwells inside those who return after being moved by Lourdes' experience". "Christ .. entrusts us with the Mission to let the Light of Charity shine : To make of our Prayers an Act of Love to our brothers and to Fraternal Charity", he concluded.

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(../..)

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