Use 'Weapons of Love,' Not War, Pope Says in Easter Address
Pope Francis urged the world in his Easter message on Sunday to use “weapons of love” to combat the evil of “blind and brutal violence,” in light of the various wars and conflicts happening around the world.
The pope gave a mass for tens of thousands of people from his balcony in St. Peter's Square Sunday, after which he spoke of violence, injustice and threats to peace around the world in his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) address.
Pope Francis touched on several of the major conflicts plaguing the world. He called for dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and resolutions to conflicts and political tensions in Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Burundi, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Ukraine. He also expressed hope that recent peace talks on Syria could resolve the conflict there.
The pope also touched on the migration crisis that has arisen as a result of these wars, and urged Europe “not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees — including many children — fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice.”
His comments were in reference to a new deal between the European Union and Turkey to stop the flow of migrants to Europe in return for political and financial concessions for Ankara. Turkey and Greece have been the main route for migrants and refugees pouring into Europe in the past year.
The pope also mentioned the recent terrorist attacks in Belgium, as well as those in Turkey, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Iraq.