During his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis issued a heartfelt appeal on behalf of the world’s child victims of war, and again appealed for peace in the Middle East and Ukraine.
Recalling that tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One, the Pope said: “Brothers and sisters, no more war! No more war! Above all, I think of the children, those who have been denied hope of a decent life, of a future: dead children, wounded children, maimed children, orphaned children, children who have remnants of war as toys, children who don’t know how to smile.
“Please stop!,” the Pope implored, adding with visible emotion: “I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop! Stop, please!”
The Pope said his thoughts “go out to three areas of crisis: the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine.”
He asked the faithful to continue to join him in prayer so that those in power will be tenacious in “dialogue and negotiation and with the force of reconciliation.” He expressed his hope that at the center of every decision, “special interests aren’t put forward, but rather the common good and respect for every person.
“Let’s remember that all is lost with war, and nothing is lost with peace,” he said to applause.
Remembering that Pope Benedict XV described World War One as a “senseless slaughter”, the Holy Father said he hoped that the “mistakes of the past won’t be repeated, but that the lessons of history be taken into account, that the demands of peace through patient and courageous dialogue are always made to prevail.”