Pope Francis has today reiterated his plea for peace in Syria appealing to all parties involved in the conflict to respect the cessation of hostilities and commit to dialogue.
Speaking after the Regina Coeli prayer in Saint Peter’s Square, the Pope said he is deeply pained by the dramatic news of the spiral of violence in Syria which, he said, “continues to aggravate the already desperate humanitarian situation in the country”.
He referred in particular to the situation in the city of Aleppo which continues to “claim innocent victims, even amongst children, sick people and those who, at the cost of great sacrifice, are bringing aid to those in need”.
And Francis had words of encouragement for an Italian association that fights all forms of abuse against minors: “This is a tragedy! We must not tolerate the abuse of minors! We must defend minors and severely punish those who abuse them” he said, thanking the “Associazione Meter” for its dedicated work.
And marking May 1st, International Labour Day, the Pope also mentioned an International Conference which opens on Monday in Rome on the theme: “Sustainable Development and the most Vulnerable Forms of Work” which takes place within the context of the Jubilee of Mercy.
“I hope – he said – that the event will sensitize the authorities, political and economic institutions and civil society in order to promote a model of development that will safeguard human dignity within full respect for labour and environmental legislation”.
Pope Francis also had a special greeting to “our brothers of the Eastern Churches who are celebrating Easter.”
“May the risen Lord – he said – bear his gifts of light and peace to all. Christos anesti!”
Source: Vatican Radio