Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter Message: Pope Urges End To Syria ‘horror’ In Easter Address

Pope Francis urged an end to “horror and death”
in Syria and implored God to bring peace to the
Middle East as he delivered the traditional Easter
Day mass in Rome on Sunday. Pope Francis waves to the crowd after the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing for Rome and the world from the central loggia of St Peters’ basilica following the Easter Sunday mass on April 16, 2017 at St Peter’s square in Vatican. Christians around the world are marking the Holy Week, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, leading up to his resurrection on Easter. / AFP PHOTO The Easter mass, the highlight of the Christian
calendar began under a cloudy sky where
worshippers had gathered since the early hours to
gain access amid tight security. After a short bout of heavy rain, the pontiff gave
his traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing, to the city and
the world, in which he prayed for those suffering
from war, famine and political unrest, highlighting
Syria, but also Ukraine and conflict zones in Africa. He expressed hope that Jesus’ own sacrifice might
“sustain the efforts of all those actively engaged in
bringing comfort and relief to the civil population
in Syria, prey to a war that continues to sow
horror and death.” And he prayed for peace “beginning with the Holy
Land, as well as in Iraq and Yemen.” He also spoke out against the hostilities and famine
in Africa, notably in South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia
and the Democratic Republic of Congo “who
endure continuing hostilities, aggravated by the
grave famine affecting” parts of Africa. He further urged world leaders to hear the
message of peace as they contend with “the
complex and often dramatic situations of today’s
world,” and to work “to prevent the spread of
conflicts and to put a halt to the arms trade.” Without mentioning Venezuela by name, Pope
Francis also alluded to political and social tensions
in Latin America, expressing the hope that the
“common good of societies” would prevail. “May it be possible for bridges of dialogue to be
built, by continuing to fight the scourge of
corruption and to seek viable and peaceful
solutions to disputes, for progress and the
strengthening of democratic institutions in
complete respect for the rule of law,” he said. – Bloody start to Holy Week – Turning his attention to eastern Europe, he asked
that “the Good Shepherd come to the aid of
Ukraine, still beset by conflict and bloodshed.” Of the social and political upheaval in Europe,
Francis prayed for God’s blessing on “those
experiencing moments of crisis and difficulty,
especially due to high unemployment, particularly
among young people.

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