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War will never solve problems, pope says after Angelus

Pope Francis urges prayers for peace and action to solve problems without war
Pope Francis waves from the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican during the Angelus prayer on Feb. 18.

Pope Francis waves from the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican during the Angelus prayer on Feb. 18. (Photo: AFP)

Published: February 20, 2024 05:11 AM GMT
Updated: February 21, 2024 06:53 AM GMT

War will never solve problems, Pope Francis said, appealing for prayers that God inspire people to concretely work for peace.

"Ten months have passed now since the outbreak of the armed conflict in Sudan, which has caused a very grave humanitarian situation," the pope said after praying the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter's Square Feb. 18.

"I once again ask the conflicting sides to stop this war, which inflicts a great deal of harm on the people and the future of the country. Let us pray that paths of peace can be found soon, to build the future of dear Sudan," he said.

He also lamented intensified violence in Cabo Delgado Province in northern Mozambique where terrorists have been attacking military and government buildings, civilian infrastructure and villages in an ongoing armed conflict.

"The violence against defenseless populations, the destruction of infrastructure, and insecurity are again rampant in the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, where the Catholic mission of Our Lady of Africa in Mazeze was also set on fire in recent days," the pope said. "Let us pray for peace to return to that tormented region."

Aid to the Church in Need reported on Feb. 14 that an attack on Feb. 9 forced hundreds of people to flee, including priests, religious sisters and other church workers after terrorists burned churches and homes as well as killed and kidnapped an unknown number of people during raids on three communities in Cabo Delgado.

Islamist militants have been intensifying attacks in northern Mozambique since early 2024 as part of an ongoing insurgency that began in 2017, and which has killed more than 5,000 people and displaced more than 1 million people -- 3% of the total population, the aid group said.

After the Angelus, the pope asked people to not forget the many other conflicts "that stain the African continent and many parts of the world with blood: also Europe, Palestine, Ukraine."

"Wherever there is warfare, the populations are exhausted, they are tired of war, which is always pointless and inconclusive, and brings only death, only destruction, and will never lead to the solution to problems," he said.

"Instead, let us pray tirelessly because prayer is effective, and let us ask the Lord for the gift of minds and hearts that dedicate themselves to peace in a concrete way," he said.

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DR.CAJETAN COELHO
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent - Mahatma Gandhi
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