War is always madness

2013-06-03 L’Osservatore Romano

“War is madness. It is the suicide of humanity. It is an act of faith in money, which for the powerful of the earth is more important than the human being”. For “behind a war there are always sins”. With his simple, direct language, Pope Francis denounced the madness of conflicts that bathe humanity in blood. He did so twice in the space of a few hours, on Sunday morning 2 June. First, when he celebrated Mass with a group of injured Italian soldiers and relatives of the young men who gave their life in the mission of peace; then, at the Angelus, with a large number of the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square. He asked them to pray precisely for the fallen and for their relatives.  And the crowd, festive until that moment, accepted the Pontiff's invitation, recollecting in a long silence.

Again, during the Marian prayer the Pope expressed “ever alive and anguished” worry about “the ongoing war that has been raging in Syria for more than two years now”, affecting “in particular the defenceless population that aspires to peace in justice and in understanding. This tormented situation of war brings tragic consequences: death, destruction and immense economic and environmental damage, such as also the scourge of kidnapping”. Hence “the appeal to the humanity of the kidnappers to release  their victims”.

Lastly, in the afternoon the Pope presided at the Eucharistic adoration in the Vatican Basilica, broadcast life across the world on the occasion of the Year of Faith.