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    » 08/25/2013, 00.00


    Pope: Let the clatter of arms stop in Syria, let the international community show greater sensitivity

    Expressing "great suffering and concern" for Syria and "the proliferation of massacres and atrocities", the pope calls on the parties to meet and talk to stop this "war between brothers." a as a gate that is always open, Jesus invites everyone to come in. Such a gate is "narrow, [. . .] not because it is a torture chamber, but because it calls upon us to open our hearts to Him." The Holy Father ends by offering the faithful his best wishes for a safe return from holidays, back to their daily work full of hope.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In today's Angelus, Pope Francis pleaded for an end to the "clatter of arms" in Syria, calling on the parties to meet and talk in order to stop this "war between brothers".

    Speaking to the faithful in St Peter's Square, the pontiff called for the international community to "show greater sensitivity towards this tragic situation and do all it can to help the beloved Syrian nation find a solution to a war that is sowing death and destruction."

    "With great suffering and concern I continue to follow the situation in Syria. The increase in violence in a war between brothers, with the proliferation of massacres and atrocities, that we all have been able to see in the terrible images of these days, leads me once again to raise my voice that the clatter of arms may cease."

    In recent days, in parallel with an escalation of violence in Damascus itself, images were shown of people affected by chemical weapons, with Syria's regime and rebels blaming each other for their use.

    Referring to the matter, the pope said, "It is not confrontation that offers hope to resolve problems, but rather the ability to meet and dialogue."

    "From the bottom of my heart," he added, "I would like to express my closeness in prayer and solidarity with all the victims of this conflict, with all those who suffer, especially children, and I invite you to keep alive the hope of peace."

    "Let us all together pray for peace: Mary Queen of Peace, pray for us!" he told all those present right after his appeal.

    Before the Marian prayer, Francis gave his comments on today's Sunday Gospel (XXI during Year C, Luke 13, 22:30), in which Jesus, on his way to Jerusalem, calls for striving "through the narrow door" (see 24).

    "The image of the gate," the pope explained, "comes back several times in the Gospel, a reference to home, the hearth where we find safety, love and warmth. Jesus tells us that there is a gate through which we come into God's family, the warmth of God's house, and of communion with Him. Jesus himself is that gate (cf. John, 10:9). He is the gateway to salvation. He leads us to the Father. And Jesus's gate is never closed; it is always open to everyone, without distinction, without exclusion, and without privileges. Everyone is invited to cross that gate, to cross the gate of faith and come into his life, and let him into our life, so that He may transform it, renew it, and give it full and lasting joy "

    "Nowadays," the pontiff added," we walk by many gates that beckon us to come in by promising happiness that lasts but a moment, that dries up by itself and has no future. By which gate do we want to come in? Who do we want to let in through the gate of our life? Let me say this in no uncertain terms: We are not afraid to cross the gate of the faith in Jesus, to let him into our lives more and more, to get out of our own selfishness, our own close-mindedness, our indifference toward others."

    "Of course, Jesus's door is a narrow one," Francis said in concluding, "not because it is a torture chamber, but because it calls upon us to open our hearts to Him, to acknowledge our sins, our need of his salvation, his forgiveness, his love; to be humble enough to accept his mercy and be renewed by Him. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that being a Christian does not mean sporting a 'label', but represents a way of living and bearing witness to the faith in prayer, in works of charity, in promoting justice, and in doing good. Through the narrow gate that is Christ, our whole life must pass.

    "To the Virgin Mary, Gate of Heaven, we ask for help to cross the gate of faith, to let her Son transform our existence as he transformed hers in order to bring the joy of the Gospel to everyone."

    After he greeted various groups present the square, Francis offered everyone his best wishes for a safe return from holidays.

    "For many people," he said, "this is a time that marks the end of summer holidays. I wish everyone a quiet return to the normal work of daily life, looking forward to the future with hope."

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    See also

    01/09/2013 VATICAN - SYRIA
    Pope: a day of prayer for peace in Syria and in the world
    Francis makes his "the cry of peace" that "rises from every corner of the earth, from every nation, from every heart". Concern for the Syrian conflict and "the dramatic developments that lie ahead ." The "judgment of God" and of history for the use of chemical weapons. The international community must promote initiatives of dialogue. "

    27/10/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: Christian families are missionary families, who guard the faith by sharing their witness
    Pope Francis told families to "keep the faith", not by being "defensive", but by being warn and open to others. He also called on them to recite the Lord's Prayer and Rosary as a family. Joy in the family is guaranteed by the "Lord [who] is near", who "hears the cry of the lowly and [. . .] frees them from evil." At the end of his address, the Holy Father left the crowd with a question, "which you will take home with you", i.e. "How is joy in your family? In your house?" He also prayed before the icon of the Presentation at the Temple, which was followed by the Angelus. Philadelphia will be the next venue for the International Meeting of Families, in September 2015.

    26/07/2015 VATICAN-SYRIA
    Pope: urgent appeal for the release of Fr. Dall'Oglio, kidnapped two years ago in Syria
    At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls the Jesuit priest, the two Orthodox bishops and all those who have been kidnapped, calling on all present to join him in the recitation of a Hail Mary. Joined by the presence of two young people, he opens registration for WYD in Krakow and registers himself as teh first pilgrim online with a tablet. Commenting on today's Gospel: "Who among us does not have his" five loaves and two fish "? If we are willing to put them in the hands of the Lord, they will be a bit more love in the world to go around".

    28/02/2016 14:13:00 VATICAN
    Pope: "hope" for a truce in Syria

    During the Angelus, Francis called for negotiations to share evenly the burden front-line nations must bear in helping migrants. "God does not allow tragedies in order to punish faults", he does not “penalise” for some grave offence and the victims of some tragedies are not worse than others.

    29/09/2013 VATICAN
    Pope to catechists: If there is no memory of God, everything ends up being about “me”, my own comfort, about having
    At the Mass for the Day of the Catechists an appointment for the Year of Faith , Francis urges catechists to be "God's memory" and to awaken it in others. Communicating doctrine " in its entirety, without taking from it or adding to it" . The greeting to the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and prayers for Syria and the Middle East.

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