Pope: all is lost in war; all is to be gained in peace

2013-06-02 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday appealed for prayers for victims of war. Speaking to those gathered for the Sunday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope expressed sorrow and preoccupation for the war that has been raging in Syria for the past two years. He observed that it particularly strikes the defenseless civilian population that hopes for a just peace and comprehension.

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“Wars” – Pope Francis said – “are always madness: all is lost in war, all is to be gained in peace”. Speaking after the recitation of the Angelus, the Pope asked those present to pray in silence for those who have fallen in war and for all other victims of conflict.

And he spoke of the tragic consequences of war which - he said - brings with it death, destruction, huge economic and environmental damage, as well as the scourge of kidnapping.

“In deploring all of these” – Francis continued –“I wish to assure my prayers and my solidarity for those who are being held in captivity and for their families, and I appeal to the humanity of the kidnappers to free their victims”. Let us always pray – he concluded – “for our beloved Syria”.

The Pope then revealed that on Sunday morning, the second of June, the day in which Italy observes “Republic Day” and lays a wreath at the tomb of the unkown soldier, he celebrated Mass with a group of soldiers and families of military personnel who have been killed during peace missions which – he said – “aim to promote reconciliation and peace in countries in which the blood of brothers continues to be spilt in wars that are always madness”.

Pope Francis concluded his address with yet another heartfelt appeal for prayers for those who have fallen in war, for those who are wounded in conflict, and for their families.