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Crimes that offend humanity

· ​At the Angelus Pope Francis expresses sorrow over the deaths of migrants ·

A new appeal for religious freedom and the end of violence directed at Christians

We must prevent the recurrence of the horrible tragedies that befall migrants, as have occurred in recent days. Pope Francis launched yet another heartfelt appeal at the Angelus on Sunday, 30 August. Remembering the victims of the most recent tragedies – especially the 71 individuals who died in a lorry on a motorway linking Vienna and Budapest – the Pontiff asked the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square to pray in silence “for all migrants who are suffering and for those who have lost their lives”. He also exhorted that everyone “cooperate effectively to prevent these crimes, which offend the entire human family”.

Among his concerns was also the situation of the Christians suffering persecution in the Middle East and in other parts of the world. Francis entrusted them to the intercession of Syro-Catholic Bishop Flaviano Michele Melki, a martyr who was proclaimed Blessed on Saturday in Lebanon, to whom invoked for them “comfort, courage and hope”, and expressing his wish that this beatification would also serve as “an incentive to legislators and governments so that religious freedom might be assured in all places”. The Pope also implored the international community “to do something so as to put an end to the acts of violence and oppression”.

Before making these appeals, the Pope had spoken on the necessity of not limiting oneself to the outward observance of the law but of purifying the heart of hypocrisy.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 21, 2018

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