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Pope calls for world peace, stresses role of family

Rome, Jan 1, IRNA, Pope Benedict XVI marked the start of 2008 with an appeal Tuesday for world peace and safeguarding family values.

The Catholic Church celebrates January 1 as World Day of Peace, and the pope used a morning Mass and a window appearance before thousands of faithful in St. Peter’s Square to mark the occasion.

He called for ‘the gift of peace: for our families, our cities and the whole world’.

Benedict returned to a theme central to his papacy, speaking of the importance of the traditional family based on the marriage between man and woman.

“Mankind is a big family,” he said, stressing the link between family and peace.

Benedict said mankind cannot live in peace unless it is inspired by the same values that hold a family together.

“Family is the first and irreplaceable educator of peace,” Benedict said.

“Denying or restricting the rights of the family threatens the very foundations of peace.”