VATICAN, April 7, 2015—Amid the lawlessness and injustice plaguing today’s world, Pope Francis on Easter Sunday called on the Catholic faithful to fight acts of violence and work towards the attainment of genuine peace and reconciliation all over the globe.
“From the risen Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace,” Pope Francis said in his Easter message before the faithful at the St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Italy.
In his “Urbi et Orbi” message in time for the Lord’s resurrection, the Holy Father prayed against war and bloodshed, particularly mentioning cases of atrocities that recently took place in several countries throughout the world.
“We ask Jesus, the Victor over death, to lighten the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing conflicts and violence,” he said.
“This is not weakness, but true strength! Those who bear within them God’s power, his love and his justice, do not need to employ violence; they speak and act with the power of truth, beauty and love” he added.
Restore peaceful relations
Pope Francis called for the attainment of peace in Syria and Iraq, noting the need for the “roar of arms” to cease and for peaceful relations to be restored among various groups.
He called for peace in the Holy Land, stressing the need for the “culture of encounter” to grow between Israelis and Palestinians, and for the peace process to be resumed to end years of suffering and division in the country.
For Libya, Pope Francis hoped that the “present absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence may cease, and that all concerned for the future of the country may work to favor reconciliation and to build a fraternal society respectful of the dignity of the person.”
He also noted intentions for Yemen where he yearned “for the growth of a common desire for peace for the good of the entire people,” and in Lausanne where he hoped that the nuclear deal framework recently agreed upon is a “definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.”
Live in service
The Holy Father also asked for the gift of peace in Nigeria, South Sudan and for the various areas of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“May constant prayer rise up from all people of goodwill for those who lost their lives – I think in particular of the young people who were killed last Thursday at Garissa University College in Kenya –, for all who have been kidnapped, and for those forced to abandon their homes and their dear ones,” he added.
Pope Francis also prayed for Ukraine, expressing hopes that the country will soon rediscover peace and hope through the tireless commitment of all the involved parties working towards its peace and progress.
“The world proposes that we put ourselves forward at all costs, that we compete, that we prevail… But Christians, by the grace of Christ, dead and risen, are the seeds of another humanity, in which we seek to live in service to one another, not to be arrogant, but rather respectful and ready to help,” the Holy Father said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza/CBCP News)