Vatican City, 12 November 2014 (VIS) – “It is with great trepidation that I follow the dramatic events of Christians who in various parts of the world are persecuted and killed for their religious beliefs. I feel the need to express my profound spiritual closeness to the Christian communities who are so badly afflicted by an absurd violence that shows no sign of stopping, and I encourage the pastors and all faithful to be strong and firm in their hope”.
The Pope thus launched a heartfelt appeal to all those with political responsibility at local and international levels, as well as all persons of good will, “to mobilise consciences on a large scale in favour of persecuted Christians. They have the right to find safety and serenity in their own countries, freely professing their faith”.
Before concluding the general audience, the Pope greeted the faithful in various languages, and dedicated some off-the-cuff comments to pilgrims from Mexico. “I wish to express to the Mexicans, those present and those in their homelands, my closeness in this painful moment following the formal disappearance, which we know to be the assassination, of students. This makes visible the dramatic reality of the criminality behind the trade and trafficking in drugs. I am close to you and your families”.
Francis also mentioned the upcoming thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the peace treaty between Argentina and Chile, which was achieved as a result of the “will to dialogue”, and, recalling with gratitude the role played by St. John Paul II and Cardinal Antonio Samore in this treaty, he expressed his hope that “all peoples in conflict for any reason, territorial or cultural, will be encouraged to resolve them through dialogue and not by the cruelty of war”.