Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Pope Francis Decries 'Spiral of Violence' in Middle East

Taiwanese bishops with Pope Francis at the Vatican on May 15 Taiwanese bishops with Pope Francis at the Vatican on May 15
Ellis Copeland | 16 May, 2018, 23:39

"We must truly pray to the Spirit to change our hearts to better understand his will and to give us the strength to continue to work for justice and peace", the archbishop said.

He expressed his deep concern "at the escalation of tension in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, and the spiral of violence that is moving away further from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiation". These words, the Pope said, remind us that we are not the light, but rather we are called to receive the light of Christ who has risen from the dead and overcome the shadows of evil.

Speaking at the end of the general audience, Francis expressed his sorrow for the dead and wounded, saying he is "close with prayer and affection to all those who suffer" and repeating that violence does not lead to peace.

"War calls war, violence calls violence".

The Associated Press reported that the same day the United States was inaugurating its embassy in Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and killed 57 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 during mass protests along the Gaza border May 14.

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"I repeat that the use of violence never leads to peace". He also explained the meaning of the baptismal candle, lit from the Paschal candle.

The pope called on the worldwide community to renew their commitment to ensure that dialogue, justice and peace prevail.

Pope Francis finished his catechesis on baptism with an especially energetic audience.

"I was in Ausonia in the year '59".

Francis repeated the same invitation he made in his apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate ("Rejoice and Be Glad"), asking people to "let the grace of your baptism bear fruit in a path of holiness". Christian education, he said, is a right of each child so that they can gradually come to know the plan of God for them. If children are being baptised, then it is the task of parents and godparents to nurture the flame, helping them to persevere in their faith.

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