VATICAN (CWN) -- At the end of his weekly audience today, Pope John Paul II reiterated his "consternation" and "bitter sorrow" over the news of massacres in Algeria and Burundi during recent weeks. The Pontiff also called for an end to terrorist activities in Spain.

      "Hatred continues to bloody the welfare of the African lands," the Pope told a group of several thousands pilgrims who had gathered in St. Peter's square. He said that "In Algeria the massacres have not stopped, claiming the lives of women, the aged, and children." And an attack on a convent in Rwanda, the killing of five nuns and two lay people on January 8-- in an attack which left other nuns wounded-- prompted the Holy Father to say that such atrocities shock "the conscience of all humanity." He expressed the hope that such horrors would prompt "sentiments of repentance, pardon, and finally peace."

      Speaking directly to a group of Spanish pilgrims, the Pope mentioned his sorrow over the news of recent terrorist attacks by the Basque separatist group ETA.

      "These acts of violence, which express a culture of death, have no justification, and endanger the future for an entire people," the Pope said.

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January 15, 1998 volume 9, no. 11          DAILY CATHOLIC