Pope prays in Arabic

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Pope Benedict XVI waves to faithful during his weekly general audience at the Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI waves to faithful during his weekly general audience at the Vatican. (AP photo)

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Benedict XVI has delivered a prayer in Arabic during his weekly general audience in a new effort by the Vatican to show support for Christians in the Middle East.

A priest read a summary of the pope’s remarks on Wednesday in Arabic. The pope then delivered his own brief greeting in Arabic: “The pope prays for all the Arabic-speaking people. God bless you all.”

The Vatican said it was adding Arabic to the six other languages, aside from the original Italian, typically spoken during the general audience, to remind Catholics to pray for peace in the Middle East.

Khalid Hussain, a Pakistani-born Muslim tourist visiting St. Peter’s Square, praised the initiative, saying “I think it will bring a lot of audience into what the pope is saying.”

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