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. (Read more Pope Francis stories.)