Pope Francis has probably had the most moving response to what is happening in Syria. (are we surprised?)
At his usual weekly papal appearance, usually religiously themed, he condemned the use of chemical weapons, called for a negotiated settlement of the civil war in Syria, and announced he would lead a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for peace there on Sept. 7.
`’My heart is deeply wounded by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments” on the horizon, Francis said, in an apparent reference to the U.S. and France considering a military strike to punish the Syrian regime for a chemical weapons attack.
With tens of thousands of people in the square applauding his words, Francis delivered his strongest remarks yet to express his horror at the use of chemical weapons.
“With utmost firmness, I condemn the use of chemical weapons. I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart,” the pope said, in an apparent reference to photos and TV images of victims of chemical weapons in Syria.
“There is the judgment of God, and also the judgment of history, upon our actions,” he said, “from which there is no escaping.”
Usually soft-spoken, Francis raised his voice as he declared, “War brings on war! Violence brings on violence.”
The deteriorating drama of Syria inspired Francis to set aside Sept. 7 as a day of fasting and prayer for Syria.
“The world needs to see gestures of peace and hear words of hope and of peace,” Francis said.”
Will you join us for a day of fasting and prayer for Syria?