Pope Francis swings a thurible of incense above the altar as he celebrates Mass for the Epiphany on Jan. 6 at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. (Photo: AFP)
Pope Francis has condemned all forms of violence while responding to last week's assault on the US Capitol, calling Americans to learn from history.
Even mature societies can have flaws, the Catholic Church's head said in an Italian television interview aired on Jan. 10.
In an unprecedented development, a rally in support of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol building on Jan. 6. The violent supporters vandalized and looted offices in the building where Congress members met to certify Joe Biden as the new president.
Pope Francis said the violence "came as a surprise" to him. "I was amazed because they are a people who are so disciplined in democracy," he said in the interview.
The pope said even mature societies could have flaws, and there some people "who take a path against the community, against democracy, and the common good."
Violence "must always be condemned, regardless of those who perpetrate it."
"There is no society which can boast of never having had a single day or case of violence," and he said, urging to have the right kind of understanding, so as not to repeat [the violence] and learn from history."
"Understanding is fundamental" because it is the only way to find a "remedy."