· Condemning the use of weapons in Syria and the new appeal for the path of dialogue and negotiation at the Angelus ·
Pope Francis calls for a day of fasting and prayer on 7 September in St Peter's Square
“Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence”. With these strong and concerned words, Pope Francis launched a new appeal asking that the logic of dialogue and negotiation prevail over “blind conflict”. The Holy Father made this appeal at the Angelus on Sunday, 1 September, in St Peter's Square and asked that Saturday, 7 September, be dedicated to fasting and prayer. In St Peter's Square from 7 pm to 12 am people will gather to pray asking God for the gift of peace for “the beloved nation of Syria” and for “each situation of conflict and violence around the world”. It is an invitation to all Christians, believers of other religions and “all men and women of good will” which is gaining participants such as Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, Grand Mufti of Syria, the country which is being deeply struck by the words of the Pontiff who also expressed the desire to attend the prayer meeting.
“Deeply wounded” and “anguished” on the events taking place in Syria, Pope Francis condemned “the use of arms carried in its wake in that martyred country”, especially the use of chemical weapons. “There is a judgement of God and of history”, the Pope warned, “upon our actions which are inescapable!”. The Pontiff then addressed all sides of the conflict and the international community asking them “decisively and courageously to follow the path of encounter and negotiation”. It is not “a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace”. Similar ideas on the theme of peace were underlined in three tweets on Sunday and Monday on the Pope's Twitter handle: @pontifex.
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