VATICAN CITY (CNS) — It’s time to stop war, fighting and conflicts, which do nothing but kill and maim, leaving children unexploded ordnance for toys and lives without happiness, Pope Francis said.
“Never war! Never war! I think most of all about children, whose hopes for a dignified life, a future are dashed, dead children, wounded children, mutilated children, orphans, children who have the leftovers of war for toys, children who don’t know how to smile. Stop it, please! I beg you with all my heart! It’s time to stop!”
The pope made his appeal after praying the noon Angelus with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square July 27.
The pope’s plea came as he recalled the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, which, with more than 37 million causalities, was one of the deadliest conflicts in history.
Beginning July 28, 1914, the “Great War” left “millions of victims and immense destruction,” Pope Francis said.
The reigning pontiff at the time, Pope Benedict XV called it a “useless massacre,” which ended after four years in a fragile peace, Pope Francis said.
He said July 28 would be “a day of mourning” and a chance for people to remember the lessons of history.
“I hope people will not repeat the mistakes of the past,” he said, and will uphold “the rationale of peace through patient and courageous dialogue.”
Highlighting the crises in the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine, the pope called for continued prayers so that the leaders and the people there would have the wisdom and will needed to choose peace with determination and face problems with “the tenacity of dialogue and negotiations.”
“Let’s remember that everything is lost with war and nothing is lost with peace,” he said.
He urged that all decisions be based on respect for others and the common good — not personal interests.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: