Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Almost 2,000 gather, dance at Vatican

Pope celebrates anniversary of blessed Romani's martyrdom

On June 11, almost 2,000 Romani people were granted a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of Ceferino Giménez Malla of Spain. Giménez is the first Romani person to be beatified.
During his speech at the Vatican, the Pope addressed the discrimination, past and present, that Romani people have experienced throughout Europe.

"You are a people who in past centuries have not had nationalist ideologies, have not wanted to conquer land or dominate other people," he said. "Your history is complex and sometimes painful....Through the centuries you have known the bitter taste of a lack of hospitality and sometimes of persecution like in World War II."

"Europe's conscience cannot forget such pain," the Pope added. "May your people never again be the target of anger, rejection and disdain."

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