Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - The Pope makes his " the cry of peace" that "rises from every corner of the earth, from every nation , from every heart" and adds that his heart "is wounded by what is happening in Syria and the dramatic developments that are emerging"; he calls the Catholic Church to a day of fasting and prayer for peace , on September 7th , and invites other Christians , believers of all faiths and even those who do not believe to adhere to the initiative, in whatever manner they deem appropriate.
An Angelus address entirely dedicated to the "gift
of peace " , today in St. Peter's Square , marked by Pope Francis'
heartfelt appeal against pursuing the path of violence, to instead seek peace initiatives
, because "the screeching of weapons has never evoked peace, war calls war
, violence breeds violence. "
"The many situations of conflict on this our earth are a particular source of suffering and concern for me. But in these days my heart is deeply hurt by what is happening in Syria and I am anguished distressed by the dramatic developments that lie ahead. I strongly appeal for peace. How much suffering , how much devastation , how much pain the use of weapons has brought and still brings to that tormented country". "Just think of how many children will never see the light in the future".
"With particular firmness -
he continued - I condemn the use of chemical weapons : The terrible images of recent
days are still vividly imprinted on my mind and heart. here is the judgment of
God, and also the judgment of history, upon our actions - [judgments] from
which there is no escaping".
"With all my might I ask the parties in conflict to listen to the voice of their conscience, not to be closed in on their own interests but to look at each other as brothers and with courage and with determination to choose the path of encounter and negotiation , overcoming blind opposition . "
"With equal force I urge the
international community to make every effort to promote peace by promoting
initiatives based on dialogue and negotiation". "Let
no effort be spared, particularly in aiding displaced people in the country and
in neighboring countries." "May
humanitarian workers be guaranteed the possibility of providing the necessary
help ." "
Everyone is tasked with reconstructing relationships of coexistence, in a chain
of commitment that unites all people of good will." "It
is not the culture of confrontation, conflict that builds the culture of coexistence,
but the culture of dialogue ."
The Pope then announced that he had decided "to call the entire Church to a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria , the Middle East and throughout the world on September 7 , the eve of the Nativity of Mary Queen of Peace". "From 19 to 24 - he continued - we will gather in prayer here in St. Peter's Square to ask God for this great gift: humanity needs gestures of peace, gestures of fasting".
"I ask - he continued - that all the local Churches organize a liturgical act according to this intention and that they invite others to join this initiative, in the manner they deem most appropriate to the faithful of other religions and non- believers ."
"As Pope John said, we are all tasked with building relations of coexistence, justice and love." " A chain of commitment to peace unites all men and women of good will."
"So we ask Mary - therefore concluded Francis - to help us respond to violence, conflict and war, She is our Mother , may she help us to find peace".