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Monday, June 3, 2013

FRANCIS ASKS FOR RELEASE OF THOSE KIDNAPPED IN SYRIA, RECALLS SIGNS OF HOPE IN LATIN AMERICA, AND PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF WAR

Vatican City, 2 June 2013 (VIS) – After praying the Angelus, the Pope expressed his great concern regarding the continuation of the conflict that, “for more than two years now has inflamed Syria, especially affecting the civilian population that aspires to peace in justice and understanding.”

This troubled situation of war bears with it tragic consequences: death, destruction, massive economic and environmental damage, as well as the scourge of kidnapping. In denouncing these events I wish to assure my prayers of solidarity for those who have been kidnapped and their families and I appeal to the humanity of the kidnappers for the release of the victims.”

But the Holy Father also noted that, although there are many conflicts taking place around the world, there are also “many signs of hope” and encouraged “the recent steps taken in many Latin American countries toward reconciliation and peace”, asking for them to be accompanied by our prayers.

Finally, he noted that the Mass that he had celebrated that morning with wounded soldiers and family members of servicemen who had fallen in “peacekeeping missions that seek to promote reconciliation and peace in countries where so much blood of one's brothers and sisters is still spilled in wars that are always madness”. “Everything is lost in war. Everything is gained with peace. I ask you to pray for the fallen, the wounded, and their families,” the Pope explained, for the first time asking for silence in St. Peter's Square. “Let us together now, in silence, in our hearts—all together—say a prayer” for those wounded and fallen in peacekeeping missions.

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