Tag - violence

Pope condemns “inhuman violence” of recent terror attacks



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday expressed his sorrow for a series of deadly terror attacks in recent days and condemned the “inhuman violence” that spawned them. His remarks came after his Angelus address to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. 

Please see below a translation into English of the Pope’s remarks after the Angelus prayer:

“We carry in our hearts the pain over the terroristic attacks in recent days that have claimed numerous victims in Burkina Faso, in Spain and in Finland.” Let us pray for those who died, for the wounded and for their families and let us implore the Lord, the God of mercy and of peace, to free the world from this inhuman violence.”

 

Earlier before the recitation of the Marian prayer, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading where Jesus healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman, describing the mother as an example of perseverance and having a “courageous and unshakable faith.”

The Pope said this Gospel reading from Matthew gives us an unusual example of faith in Jesus coming from a Canaanite woman who begs Jesus to heal her daughter saying she is “tormented by a devil.”

The (initial) apparent lack of response from Jesus, said the Pope, “does not discourage this courageous woman who persists in her plea.” He went on to explain that “the inner strength of this woman which enables her to overcome every obstacle” springs from “her maternal love and her faith that Jesus can grant her request.”

This account, the Pope continued, “makes me think about the strength of women” who “with their strength are able to obtain great things.”

Faced with her persistence, in the end Jesus is struck “by the faith of this pagan woman” said the Pope, and tells the mother her desire is granted and so her daughter is healed.

This Gospel reading, he continued, “helps us to understand that all of us need to grow in our faith and strengthen our faith in Jesus.”

“He can help us to rediscover the way when we have lost our bearings”, when the road forward appears uphill and “arduous” and when “it is difficult to remain faithful to our duties.”

Pope Francis concluded his reflections by stressing the importance of “nourishing our faith each day by listening carefully to the Word of God, with the celebration of the Sacraments and with “our personal prayer like a ‘cry’ towards Him, and with concrete acts of charity towards our neighbour.”

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope Francis decries attack on Nigerian churchgoers, violence in CAR



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis appealed on Wednesday for an end to “every form of hatred and violence”, especially those “perpetrated in places of worship, where the faithful gather to pray”.

He was referring to an attack on Catholics attending Sunday Mass in southern Nigeria and to recent violence against Christians in the Central African Republic.

Listen to our report:



At his General Audience, Pope Francis said he “remains deeply saddened by the massacre, which took place last Sunday in Nigeria inside a church, where innocent people were killed.”

At least 13 people were killed and 26 others were wounded when gunmen opened fire on worshippers at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Ozubulu near the city of Onitsha.

The Pope also decried an incident which occurred on Wednesday in the Central African Republic.

“And, unfortunately, news has arrived this morning of violent homicides in the Central African Republic against the Christian community.”

He expressed his desire that attacks on places of worship should cease.

“I hope that all forms of hatred and violence cease, and may such shameful crimes not be repeated, especially those perpetrated in places of worship, where the faithful gather to pray.”

After a brief pause, the Holy Father invited all present to think about “our brothers and sisters in Nigeria and in the Central African Republic” and to pray for them.

He then led the crowd in the recitation of the Hail Mary.

Pope Francis already on Monday sent a telegramme of condolences to Bishop Hilary Paul Odili Okeke of Nnewi following the attack on the church in his diocese.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Angelus: Pope appeals for dialogue after Jerusalem violence



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed for moderation and dialogue after a surge of violence and killings over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope said he is following “with trepidation the grave tensions and violence of the last days in Jerusalem.”

Last week Arab gunmen, shooting from the site – which is Holy to Jews and to Muslims –  killed two Israeli policemen sparking a wave of violence in which three Palestinians were killed in street clashes and a Palestinian fatally stabbed three members of an Israeli family.

“I feel the need to express a heartfelt appeal for moderation and dialogue” Francis said and he invited all faithful to join him in prayer so that the Lord may inspire all sides to come together with proposals for reconciliation and peace

Tensions over the site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, have surged in the past couple of days following the installation by Israel of metal detectors after two Israeli policemen were killed near there earlier this month.

The measures angered the Palestinians, who accuse Israel of trying to take control over a sacred place.

Israel now says it is willing to consider alternatives to the controversial metal detectors it installed and has called on the Muslim world to put forward other suggestions.

 

(from Vatican Radio)



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Holy See calls for end to Syria violence



(Vatican Radio) A senior Vatican archbishop has urged all sides of the Syrian conflict to end violence and restore solidarity in the wake of a deadly chemical gas attack.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States, called for increased funding from the international community for displaced people and refugees during an address at the European Union in Brussels.

The conference, called “Supporting the future of Syria and the region”, came just one day after 72 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in an chemical weapons attack in the north of the country.

Archbishop Gallagher said: “The Holy See invites all parties to the Syrian conflict to spare no effort to end the seemingly endless cycle of violence, to restore that sense of solidarity that is the basis of social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.

“While the crisis has entered, regrettably and painfully, into its seventh year, the Holy See remains deeply concerned about the tremendous human suffering, affecting millions of innocent children and other civilians who remain deprived of essential humanitarian aid, medical facilities and education, and urges that international humanitarian law be fully respected, particularly with regard to the protection of civilian populations, guaranteeing them access to necessary medical assistance.

“Furthermore, the Holy See also expresses its concern for the conditions and treatment of prisoners and detainees.”

He spoke of the Holy See’s deep concern for the “vulnerable situation of Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East, who suffer disproportionately the effects of war and social upheaval in the region, to such an extent that their very presence and existence are gravely threatened.”

The Archbishop’s words come as Pope Francis deplored the “carnage” of the gas attack in Idlib province during his Wednesday General Audience and appealed for a halt to the tragedy.

Archbishop Gallagher pledged a renewed humanitarian assistance by the Church in 2017, building on the $200 million of aid given by Catholic charities last year.

The conference brought together 70 countries  and international organisations from across the world and was chaired jointly by the European Union, the United Nations and several national governments.

It comes a year after a summit in London at which the international community pledged significant financial support for humanitarian assistance in Syria and promoted a political solution to the crisis.

(Richard Marsden)

(from Vatican Radio)



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