The Pope calls for the end of “extermination” in Syria and “reconciliation” in the Holy Land
Image distributed by the Vatican press office during the Urbi et Orbi message of Pope Francis from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, in the Vatican, on April 1, 2018
Pope Francis asked this Sunday in his traditional message Urbi et Orbi the end of “extermination” in Syria, advocated “reconciliation” in the Holy Land and a “just, peaceful and humane” exit in Venezuela.
Francisco improvised a homily for the Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square, the most important liturgical moment in the Christian tradition that commemorates the resurrection of Christ
Then, after greeting on board the popemobile the 80,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, he made his traditional Easter message and his blessing Urbi et Orbi (to the city of Rome and the rest of the world).
In his message, he wished the world to obtain “the fruits of peace” and recalled several of the conflicts that the planet is experiencing.
In particular he called for the end of “extermination” in Syria and called for “reconciliation for the Holy Land,” referring to the deadly clashes on Friday on the border between Israel and Gaza.
“We invoke fruits of reconciliation for the Holy Land, which in these days is also being hit by open conflicts that do not respect the defenseless,” he added.
St. Peter’s Square of the Vatican on April 1, 2018 during the Paschal Mass of Pope Francis
Francisco also referred to Venezuela, for whom he wanted a “just, peaceful and humane” solution to the political and humanitarian crisis.
“We implore fruits of consolation for the Venezuelan people, who, as their Pastors have written, live in a kind of ‘foreign land’ in their own country,” said the Argentine pontiff.
And he wished that “by the strength of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, he will find a just, peaceful and humane way to get out of the political and humanitarian crisis that oppresses him as soon as possible, and do not miss the welcome and assistance to all those who are obligated to leave his homeland. ”
– “Wisdom” on the Korean peninsula –
As for the situation on the Korean peninsula, which is experiencing a process of détente after two years of escalation following North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic tests, the Pope called for “wisdom”.
“May those with direct responsibilities act with wisdom and discernment to promote the good of the Korean people and to build trust in the international community,” the pope called.
Nor did he forget the African continent, “tormented by hunger, endemic conflicts and terrorism,” and called for peace for South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, two of the countries on the continent most affected by the conflict.
Francisco recalled that Easter should be a symbol of hope “where there is misery and exclusion, where there is hunger or lack of work,” and referred to refugees, “so often rejected by the current culture of rejection.”
The Swiss Guard monitors the development of the Easter Mass on April 1, 2018 in the Vatican
On Saturday night, Francisco presided over the Easter vigil in the Basilica of San Pedro and asked the faithful to break the silence “about the injustices that so many of our brothers live in their flesh”.
He also baptized eight people, including a 31-year-old Nigerian who was announced in September when he prevented an armed man from robbing a supermarket in Rome.
Faithful and tourists had to make long queues this Sunday to access the Plaza de San Pedro for security measures, which include metal detectors.
The Italian authorities consider Easter as a period of high risk for the Italian capital.