Pope Prays for Peace in Gabon

Contested election resulting in violent, deadly clashes

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After praying the midday Angelus with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square today, Pope Francis offered a special prayer for Gabon, which is going through a time of political crisis following a contested Aug. 27 election.
Defeated presidential candidate Jean Ping has complained of fraud, after losing the election to incumbent Ali Bong by less than 6,000 votes.
The opposition candidate has mounted a legal challenge, while the country has taken to the streets in protest.
The opposition says as many as 100 people have died in the protests, though the government has the toll at three.
«I entrust to the Lord the victims of the clashes and their families,» Pope Francis said today. «I join the Bishops of that dear African country to invite the parties to reject all violence and to always aim for the common good. I encourage everyone, particularly Catholics, to be builders of peace within the law, in dialogue and fraternity.”

Beatification in Kazakhstan 

The Holy Father, also remembered Fr Ladislaus Bukowinski who was persecuted for his faith and was beatified Sunday in Karaganda in Kazakhstan. Pope Francis said that “in his life he always showed great love for the weakest and neediest and his testimony appears as a distillation of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

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Kathleen Naab

United States

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