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No to hatred in the name of God

· Pope Francis asks for an effective political solution for Iraq and entrusts to Cardinal Filoni the mission of witnessing to the people his closeness and solidarity ·

The sorrow for all that is happening in Iraq gives way to dismay and disbelief, Pope Francis told the faithful gathered for the Angelus in St Peter's Square on Sunday morning, 10 August. “The news from Iraq leaves us incredulous and alarmed”, he said from the window of the Apostolic Palace. News which speaks of the flight of thousands of people, among them so many Christians, pushed from their homes with inconceivable violence, sent to die of hunger and thirst while seeking asylum. Or even massacred inhumanely, with the claim of being acts in the name of God. 

Whereas, the Pontiff stated, all of this “grievously offends God and grievously offends humanity. Hatred is not borne in the name of God! War is not waged in the name of God!”. The Pope was very explicit in condemning any attempt to interpret, and even worse to justify this escalation of violence as if it were a religious war. It is instead a crime which continues to be perpetuated toward one segment of humanity. For this Francis asks for courage and hopes that “an effective political solution, internationally and locally, can end these crimes and restore rights”. But he did not only ask for prayer, he informed the faithful of having appointed Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples, as his Personal Envoy to bring to those peoples the comfort of his closeness. That evening, as the Holy See Press Office announced, he received the Cardinal at Santa Marta and reiterated to him the sentiments he had publicly expressed many times in recent days. He gave instructions to his Personal Envoy regarding the mission and entrusted him with a sum of money to be used for emergency aid to the people hardest hit, as a concrete sign of the solidarity of the Bishop of Rome and of his willingness to participate in the efforts of institutions and people of good will in response to the tragic situation.

Pope Francis has not forgotten, however, the other “innocent victims”, especially the children, in Gaza as a result of the war between Israelis and Palestinians. And in this case he also asks the faithful to pray for the gift of peace.

Then, before speaking about his departure for Korea on Wednesday, 13 August, he directed his thoughts to the victims of the Ebola epidemic.




St. Peter’s Square

Dec. 14, 2019