On Easter, Pope denounces “oppressive regimes” but urges restraint and condemns Aleppo bus convoy attack after leading mass in St. Peter’s Square. Saskia O’Donoghue reports
Pope Francis denounced “oppressive regimes” in his Easter message Sunday and called for world leaders to prevent the spead of conflict.
VATICAN CITY / SAID TO BE OUTSKIRTS OF ALEPPO, SYRIA (REUTERS) – In his annual Easter Sunday mass – his fifth as Catholic leader – the Pope said Mass before tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.
The area was under significant security – following recent vehicle attacks against pedestrians in London and Stockholm.
In his traditional Urbi et Orbi message, Francis spoke of a world lacerated by conflicts and laced with tensions without naming any specific governments.
POPE FRANCIS SAYING:
“In the complex and often dramatic situations of today’s world, may the Risen Lord guide the steps of all those who work for justice and peace. May he grant the leaders of nations the courage they need to prevent the spread of conflicts and to put a halt to the arms trade.”
He also referred to the ‘beloved and martyred Syria’ – condemning an attack on a bus convoy of evacuees outside Aleppo Saturday, which reportedly killed over 100 people.
The Pope often uses services during Holy Week and throughout the year to draw attention to the plight of war victims, refugees and migrants.