Pontiff Marks Anniversary of Battle of Britain

Calls Nazis a Force of an «Evil Ideology»

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BIRMINGHAM, England, SEPT. 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI acknowledged the courage and sacrifice of Britons in resisting the attacks of the Nazi regime and its «evil ideology» during World War II, and reiterated his own resolve to work for peace and reconciliation.

Speaking at the beatification Mass of Cardinal John Henry Newman, which took place in Cofton Park on the fourth and last day of the Pope’s visit to the United Kingdom, the Pope marked the 70th anniversary of the Nazi air campaign known as the Battle of Britain.

The Battle of Britain, which was carried out from the summer to the fall of 1940, is considered a turning point in the war, and the beginning of the end for the Nazi regime. Although the United Kingdom staved off defeat, it suffered a loss of 23,002 civilian lives, and the destruction of many of their ports and towns.

«For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion, and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology,» Benedict XVI said. «My thoughts go in particular to nearby Coventry, which suffered such heavy bombardment and massive loss of life in November 1940.

«Seventy years later, we recall with shame and horror the dreadful toll of death and destruction that war brings in its wake, and we renew our resolve to work for peace and reconciliation wherever the threat of conflict looms.»

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