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Enough of violence and blood

· At the Angelus the Pope invokes a political solution to the conflict in Syria and asks for peace and reconciliation for Iraq ·

Protection of the right to health care and work for ILVA employees in Taranto

The Pope calls for the end of “every form of violence and bloodshed” and expresses the hope of a future of peace and stability for Iraq. Benedict XVI's “pressing appeal” rang out at the Angelus on Sunday, 29 July, recited with the faithful in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

“I am continuing to follow with apprehension”, he confided after reflecting on the Gospel episode of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, “the tragic and increasing episodes of violence in Syria, with the sad sequence of deaths and people injured, even civilians, and an enormous number of internal evacuees and refugees in the neighbouring countries”. The Holy Father asked that “the necessary humanitarian aid and help in solidarity be guaranteed” for them in particular, renewing his “closeness to the suffering population” and his “remembrance in prayer”.

After recalling that the 28th World Youth Day will be celebrated in a year's time in Rio de Janeiro, the Pope also expressed his concern for the situation of the ILVA steelworks in Taranto. “I wish to express my closeness”, he said, “to the workers and their families who are going through these difficult moments with apprehension. Assuring them all of his personal prayers and of the support of the entire Church, the Pope urged “everyone  to have a sense of responsibility”, and encouraged “the national and local institutions to do all they can to achieve a just solution to the issue that will protect the rights to health care and to work, especially in these times of financial crisis”.

His words met with instant appreciation on the part of Archbishop Filippo Santoro, Pastor of the city in Puglia. At the time of one of its harshest trials, he wrote in a note disseminated shortly after the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father's words are of great comfort to us. We are not alone and our intentions, now known by the whole world thanks to the universal Pastor of the Church  are before God.

The Pope's attention, the Prelate's note says, “urges all who have responsibilities to find practical and immediate ways of ensuring that no one lack bread or dignity so that all may be guaranteed a healthy environment and that justice, with its rectitude, may continue on its necessary way”. Thus, for the Archbishop “the problem of ILVA is a problem of all” that must be resolved, avoiding “a war among the victims”, and guaranteeing that people in Taranto “working with dignity and safety, may be able to live without deliberate threats to their health”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 21, 2018

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