Pope Francis in emotional peace plea
- The Guardian, Monday 28 July 2014 02.13 AEST
Pope Francis made an emotional plea for peace on Sunday in an impromptu addition to his weekly Angelus address in St Peter’s Square.
Wrapping up his regular address to the faithful, the Argentinian-born pontiff spoke of the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war and said his thoughts were on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine in particular.
His voice appearing to crack with emotion as he broke off from his scripted remarks to make a direct appeal for fighting to end, he said: “Please stop, I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please.”
The pope made no direct reference to the situation in Gaza, but his comments came after a humanitarian truce broke down on Sunday and fighting resumed. More than 1,000 people, mostly civilians and including dozens of children, have been killed since the outbreak of the current conflict.
“Brothers and sisters, never war, never war! I am thinking above all of children, who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, of a future,” he said. “Dead children, injured children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who can’t smile any more.”