Pope John Paul, making his first overseas trip since the war in Iraq, urged young people around the world on Saturday to work against a spiral of violence and terrorism that he said had sowed hatred and death. In his appeal to a huge crowd of exuberant youths at a rally at a Spanish airbase, the pope also said they should beware of what he called “exasperated nationalism,” an apparent reference to violence by Basque separatists. “The spiral of violence, terrorism and war causes, even in our day, hatred and death,” he told the estimated 600,000 young believers on the first day of his weekend trip to Madrid. “Your response to blind violence and inhuman hate should be the fascinating power of love. Conquer enmity with the force of forgiveness,” he told the flag-waving crowd, who gave him a pop star’s welcome, interrupting his speech at almost every sentence with cheers, applause and chants. The pope’s words were designed to hit home in a country torn by sporadic violence by ETA, western Europe’s most active guerrilla group, which has killed over 830 people since 1968 in a campaign for an independent Basque state. Full Story
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