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Pope hopes Olympics promote peace, reconciliation
Pope hopes Olympics promote peace, reconciliation, urges spirit of Olympic Truce to prevail
By The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) Pope Benedict XVI says he hopes the Olympics will help promote peace and reconciliation in the world.

Benedict said the games, which kick off July 27 in London, carry a "strong symbolic value" in bringing athletes from around the world together.

Speaking Sunday during his traditional blessing, Benedict said he hopes the U.N.'s call for a truce in all countries during the Olympics will promote peace and reconciliation around the world during the sporting event.

The Vatican has recently launched a new sporting office as a sign of its interest in infusing the sporting world with Christian values.

Benedict spoke from the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome.

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