Pope Francis’s plea: “No more war!”

From Vatican Insider: 

“No more war!” Francis cried out at today’s Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square. Faithful welcomed his cry for peace as a liberation as everyone’s thoughts turned to Syria. “Violence never brings peace: war brings war, violence leads to more violence,” the Pope said, inviting those involved in the Syrian conflict “not to become closed in guarding their own interests” but “to be courageous and determined to try and find a middle ground and negotiate, overcoming blind conflict.” I especially condemn the use of chemical weapons: I still have some terrible images imprinted in my mind,” Bergoglio said. “God and history judge our actions and we cannot escape this judgement.”

In his appeal for peace in Syria and the Middle East, the Pope expressed his deep concern for the situation there: “The many conflicts that exist in the world today, cause me great concern and suffering,” Francis said. “But in recent days I really have been deeply hurt by what has been going on in Syria and distressed by the developments which are being forecast. I would like to send out a strong appeal for peace. The use of weapons in that desolate country has brought so much suffering, devastation and pain.” The Pope invited “non Catholic Christian brothers and people of other faiths to unite in whichever way they see fit.”

On “7 September we will gather in St. Peter’s Square between 7pm and midnight to pray in the spirit of penance, to ask God for this great gift for the beloved Syrian nation” because “humanity needs to witness gestures of peace,” the Pope said, renewing the bond between the “world’s parish priest” and his faithful, who flock in ever greater numbers to St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus. Great explosions of joy alternated with moments of silence and prayer spread across the crowd of faithful which started pouring into the Square early this morning. The dialogue that exists between Francis and his faithful is frank and does not follow protocol: there is a special kind of understanding between the Pope from the “other side of the world” and a crowd which relates to his direct and meaningful language. “Each word Francis utters reaches people’s hearts,” said 36-year old Alessio Angelini who came to Rome on a parish pilgrimage this Friday. “Let us hope the world’s leaders will listen to the Pope’s appeal for peace. The Pope’s choice of Vatican officials is another sign of how he is trying to breath fresh air into the Vatican, bringing a spirit of renewal and a renewed sense of service to the faith.”

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Full text of his address. 

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