Pope appeals for Christian communities of Middle East and remembers Israeli victims of terrorists 20 years ago in Argentina.

APPEAL FOR THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES OF THE MIDDLE EAST

Vatican City, 20 July 2014 (VIS) – “I have received with some concern the news from the Christian communities of Mosul, Iraq, and from other parts of the Middle East who, ever since the beginnings of Christianity, have co-existed there alongside their fellow citizens, making a significant contribution to the good of society”, said the Pope after today’s Angelus prayer. “Today they are persecuted. Our brothers are persecuted, they are cast out, they are forced to leave their homes without having the chance to take anything with them. To these people I wish to express my closeness and my constant prayer. Dear brothers and sisters, so persecuted, I know how much you suffer, I know that you have been deprived of everything. I am with you in faith in He Who conquered evil”.

He urged them to continue their prayer for the situations of tension and conflict that persist in many areas of the world, especially in the Middle East and Ukraine. “May the God of peace rouse in everyone an authentic desire for peace and reconciliation. Violence cannot be overcome with violence. Violence is defeated with peace! Let us pray in silence, for peace; all of us, in silence. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!”.

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POPE FRANCIS: TERRORISM IS A MADNESS THAT KNOWS ONLY HOW TO KILL

Vatican City, 19 July 2014 (VIS) – On Friday 18 July the Holy Father sent a video message to the Argentine Israeli community, to convey his closeness to the families of the victims of the bombing of the AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association), which took place twenty years ago in Buenos Aires (18 July 1994). It caused 85 deaths and more than 200 casualties, making it one of the most significant terrorist attacks the country has experienced.

“Terrorism is a form of madness”; says Francis in the recorded message. “Terrorism knows only how to kill – it does not build, it destroys. Therefore, I wish to express my closeness to all those who have seen lives derailed and hopes dashed, ruined. Sometimes it is said that Buenos Aires is a city that needs to mourn, but has not yet wept enough. At the risk of repeating a well-worn cliché, I repeat: we need to mourn more. We tend to set things aside, not to come to terms with our history, with our sufferings, with things that could have been beautiful but were not. For this reason, it is so difficult for us to find the path to justice, to settle the debt that this tragedy has contracted with society. Along with my closeness, along with my prayers for all the victims, today I wish to add my desire for justice to be done. May God bless you all, institutions and families. And may God give peace to those who died in this act of lunacy”.

 

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