As Norwegians mourned for the victims of the deadly bombing in Oslo and horrific shooting in Utoya island, the capital of Norway, the Pope Benedict XVI call on people to renounce hatred and escape from the logic of evil.

Memorial services were held across the country after at least 92 were killed and 97 wounded from the twin attacks on Friday.



Survivors of a shooting rampage on the Utoeya island break out in tears following a memorial service in the Oslo cathedral (REUTERS)





Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg and Eskil Pedersen, the leader of the youth wing of ruling Labour Party, are comforted by priests after a memorial service at a cathedral in Oslo (REUTERS)



The suspect for both attacks, Anders Behring Breikviks, a 32-year-old Norwegian right-wing fanatic, was arrested on Friday and is now in custody.



Anders Behring Breivik (REUTERS)



On Sunday, the Pope Benedict XVI expressed deep sorrow for the victims of the  attacks. He renewed his sad appeal to abandon forever the path of hatred and flee from the rationale of evil.  

Speaking to 4,000 liturgy attendants in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo, the Pope urged people to follow the moral conscience, which teaches to distinguish between good and evil and avoid the latter, said AsiaNews.



Pope Benedict XVI waves faithful as he leads his Angelus prayer in his summer residence in Castelgandolfo (REUTERS)



The Pope said,

Solomon prayed to God to give him a 'meek heart'.

What does this expression mean? We know that 'heart' in the Bible does not only indicate a part of the body, but also the center of the person, the seat of his intentions and judgments. We might say that it holds human conscience.

'Meek heart' then means the conscience that knows how to listen, that is sensitive to the voice of truth, and for this can distinguish between good and evil.

In Solomon's case, the request was motivated by the duty of leading a nation, Israel, the people God chose to manifest to the world his plans of salvation. The King of Israel therefore had to try to be always in tune with God, listening to His Word, in order to lead the people on the ways of the Lord as well as on the path of justice and peace.

But, Solomon's example applies to every man.

Each one of us has a conscience and in a certain way is also 'king'. This means we can exercise the great human dignity of acting according to the right conscience doing good and avoiding evil.

The moral conscience presupposes a capacity to listen to the voice of truth, and to be meek towards its indications. People called to political office naturally have more responsibilities, and thus, as Solomon teaches, need God's help even more.

But each one of us has his own duty to perform in our respective circumstances.

A wrong mindset tells us to ask God for favors, be they things or conditions. In reality, the true quality of our own life and that of society depends on man's right conscience, on everyone's capacity to recognize good, separating it from evil, and patiently try to implement it.

I want to repeat my appeal to everyone to give up forever the path of hate and to escape from the logic of evil, said Pope Benedict.

He further called on Norwegians to be spiritually united and to work together fearlessly in shaping a future of mutual respect, solidarity and freedom for coming generations.