VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Benedict XVI called for prayers and greater efforts on the part of the international community to help the children around the world who live in dramatic situations.
“My thoughts go to all the children in the world, especially to those who live in difficult conditions and who suffer from violence, abuse, sickness, war or hunger,” the pope said at the end of his general audience Nov. 18 at the Vatican.
Anticipating the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, which will be observed Nov. 20 and this year will mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, Pope Benedict asked the faithful gathered inside the Vatican’s Paul VI Auditorium to pray for children.
“I invite you to join in my prayer, and at the same time, I appeal to the international community to multiply efforts to offer an adequate response to the dramatic problems of children,” he said. “All generous efforts must continue until the rights of children are recognized and their dignity respected.”
The U.N. sponsors the Universal Children’s Day every year on the anniversary of the adoption of the convention.
The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children is marked on the same day by the Global Network of Religions for Children, an interfaith network of organizations that promotes children’s rights.