Pope Francis used his first Easter Sunday Mass as pontiff to make a world peace plea, saying that conflicts have lasted too long in Syria, in addition to urging unity in Africa and the Korean peninsula.
Before a crowd of 250,000 in St. Peter’s Square, he also denounced warfare and terrorism across the world, and decried a greedy affluent world looking for `’easy gain.”
“And so we ask the risen Jesus, who turns death into life, to change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace,” Pope Francis said. “Peace for the Middle East, and particularly between Israelis and Palestinians, who struggle to find the road of agreement, that they may willingly and courageously resume negotiations to end a conflict that has lasted all too long. Peace in Iraq, that every act of violence may end, and above all for dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict and for the many refugees who await help and comfort. How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution to the crisis will be found?”
Pope Francis called stability in Nigeria, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, where he said many have been forced to leave their homes amid violence.
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