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Recalling Congo, Pope Decries Tragedy of Child Soldiers

During Angelus, Pope Appeals to International Community to Make ‘Appropriate and Timely Decisions To Help’

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«Unfortunately, news continues to reach us of violent and brutal clashes in the region of Central Kasai of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.»
Pope Francis said this after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, stressing he «intensely» feels the grief of the victims, especially for so many children torn from their families and from school to be used as soldiers.
«Child soldiers are a tragedy,» Francis said, stressing: «I renew my heartfelt appeal to the conscience and the responsibility of the National Authorities and of the International Community, so that appropriate and timely decisions are taken to help these brothers and sisters of ours.»
«Let us pray for them and for all people suffering in other parts of the African continent and of the world due to violence and war,» the Pope urged, before lamenting recent tragedies that have afflicted Pakistan and Iraq.
Pope Francis concluded, wishing all those present in St. Peter’s Square a good Sunday, pointing out the lovely weather, a good lunch, and reminding them to pray for him.
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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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