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Pope prays for Japan quake victims, encourages aid

Pope Benedict XVI salutes the faithful during the traditional Ash Wednesday mass in the St. Sabina church in Rome Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Danilo Schiavella, POOL)
Pope Benedict XVI salutes the faithful during the traditional Ash Wednesday mass in the St. Sabina church in Rome Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Danilo Schiavella, POOL) (Danilo Schiavella - AP)

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The Associated Press
Sunday, March 13, 2011; 7:23 AM

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI is praying for the victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami and has praised the "dignity and courage" with which the Japanese are coping with the tragedy.

Benedict also encouraged aid workers who are bringing comfort to those afflicted, saying God was with them.

He made the comments, in Italian and English, during his traditional Sunday blessing from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square.

Japan's prime minister on Sunday called the disaster Japan's worst crisis since World War II, with the death toll likely to exceed 10,000 in one state alone and fears of a radiation leak from a damaged nuclear reactor. Millions have been left without water, electricity or proper food.


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