Emotional Francis on Syria: 'War Brings on War!

Says he's 'deeply wounded,' calls for day of fasting

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 1, 2013 7:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Pope Francis abandoned his normal Sunday themes today, and instead spoke emotionally and at length about Syria, calling for a day of fasting and prayer for peace. "My heart is deeply wounded by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments," he said, as per the AP. Later, his voice rising, he urged a peaceful solution, saying, "War brings on war! Violence brings on violence." He's setting aside Saturday as a day for Christians and "men of good will" to fast and pray for the "gift" of peace in Syria. "The world needs to see gestures of peace and hear words of hope and of peace," he said.

"I forcefully condemn the use of chemical weapons," he said, adding that "there is the judgment of God, and also the judgment of history, upon our actions, from which there is no escaping." His comments mirror those of John Paul II, who a decade ago repeatedly implored the US not to invade Iraq.

A crowd listens to Pope Francis, seen at the second from right window, reciting the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.
A crowd listens to Pope Francis, seen at the second from right window, reciting the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.   (Riccardo De Luca)
Pope Francis waves to faithful after reciting the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.
Pope Francis waves to faithful after reciting the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.   (Riccardo De Luca)
Pope Francis waves to faithful after reciting the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.
Pope Francis waves to faithful after reciting the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.   (Riccardo De Luca)
Pope Francis recites the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.
Pope Francis recites the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.   (Riccardo De Luca)
Pope Francis waves to faithful after reciting the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.
Pope Francis waves to faithful after reciting the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.   (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.
Pope Francis delivers his Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.   (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
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