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An end to violence in Syria

· Pope Francis' appeal at the General Audience ·

Fair and just solutions to the serious situation of unemployment in Sardinia and throughout Italy

Enough bloodshed in Syria: may a political solution be found as soon as possible which puts an end to the tragic situation which is overwhelming this “beloved nation”. Pope Francis' appeal for the end of the tragedy that the Syrian population is living through was made even more dramatic by the kidnapping of the Greek Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox Metropolitans of Aleppo.

The Pope made his appeal at the end of the General Audience on Wednesday morning, 24 April, and it is a follow-up to the appeal he made on Easter Sunday in his Urbi et Orbi Message. However, at his meeting with the faithful – very numerous also on this occasion – he expressed his own concern  for other reasons too. For example, he has at heart the serious situation of unemployment which is affecting Italy in particular. His hope regarding this, he said, is that “it may find a rapid and  equitable solution, with respect for the rights of all and especially of families”. The presence of a group of Sardinian workers – last week prevented from taking part in the Audience because their flight was delayed – afforded the Holy Father an opportunity to express his closeness to the problems of Italian workers.

Pope Francis also showed concern for the situation of foreign immigrants  in Rome. “What do we do for them?”, he asked, recalling that it is precisely on our love, “on how we have loved our brethren, especially the weakest and neediest”, that “God will judge us”. Hence the invitation to Christians not to withdraw into themselves, not to hide what the Lord has given them. “We are in the time of action”, and must therefore beware of  falling asleep, for “the life of slumbering Christians is a sad life”.

The Pope had made this remark a little earlier, at his customary celebration of morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. In fact in his brief homily he put the accent on the grace of Christians that enables them to live “in a love story”, indeed, in “the history of the Church”.

On Tuesday morning, 23 April as well, in celebrating Mass in the Pauline Chapel with the cardinals who wanted to be with him on his nameday,  Pope Francis had reflected on the life of the Church, on her history and on the path she is called to take in order to follow Christ. It is a path, he said, that unfolds between the Cross and the Resurrection.

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Aug. 18, 2019

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