(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis renewed his call for prayer and concrete assistance for the suffering populations of Iraq this Sunday. Addressing the crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square for the traditional Angelus prayer, the Holy Father also offered prayerful appeals for an end to the fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza, and for the victims of the Ebola outbreak and for all those fighting to stop it. “Let us pray together to the God of peace,” said Pope Francis, “through the intercession of the Virgin Mary: Give us peace, O Lord, in our days, and make us builders of justice and peace.” Vatican Radio’s English translation of the full text of Pope Francis’ remarks is available below:
Dear brothers and sisters,
The news reports coming from Iraq leave us in dismay and disbelief: thousands of people, including many Christians, driven from their homes in a brutal manner; children dying of thirst and hunger in their flight; women taken and carried off; violence every kind; destruction of historical, cultural and religious patrimonies. All this gravely offends God and humanity. Hatred is not to be carried in the name of God! War is not to be waged in the name of God!
I thank those who, with courage, are bringing succour to these brothers and sisters, and I am confident that an effective political solution on both the international and the local levels may be found to stop these crimes and re-establish the [rule of] law. In order better to ensure those dear suffering populations of my closeness to them, I have named [Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples] Cardinal Fernando Filoni as my Personal Envoy in Iraq, who shall depart from Rome tomorrow [Monday].
In Gaza, also: after a truce, war has once again resumed – a war that cuts down innocent victims and does nothing but worsen the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
Let us pray together the God of peace, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary: Grant us peace, O Lord, in our days, and render us artificers justice and peace.
We also pray for the victims of the Ebola virus and for those who are fighting to stop it.
I greet everyone present, Romans and pilgrims, in particular the youth of Verona, Cazzago San Martino, and Sarmeola Mestrino, and the Girl Scouts of Treviso.
From next Wednesday 13 August, through Monday 18, I will be making an apostolic journey to Korea: please, accompany me with prayer! Thank you. Have a good Sunday and a good lunch. Arrivederci!