Pope Francis Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Syria

At General Audience, Renews Appeals to Help the Suffering Nation

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During his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis repeated his appeals to help the suffering nation of Syria and has called for an immediate ceasefire.
According to Vatican Radio, at the conclusion of the audience, Francis said, «I wish to stress and confirm my closeness to all the victims of the inhuman conflict in Syria.»
«It is with a sense of urgency,» he continued, «that I renew my appeal, imploring those responsible with all my strength, to provide an immediate cease-fire, which is imposed and respected at least for the necessary time to make possible the evacuation of civilians, especially children, who are trapped again under bloody bombardments.»
In the past day, Russia has resumed its airstrikes on the Syrian city of Aleppo. More than 25 people have reportedly died in the bombardments, including children. The strikes followed the Syrian government’s temporary lull, partially to make it possible for civilians to leave rebel-held areas in the city’s eastern section.
Pope Francis, during several of his General Audiences and Angelus addresses, has expressed, that through prayer and spiritual closeness, he feels united in suffering with these people.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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