Pope Francis in Rome: Church leader mourns with victims in Sri Lanka
Pope Francis speaks of "dramatic events" in Sri Lanka. In his Easter sermon, he also calls for an end to the war in Syria and calls for renunciation of violence in civil war countries.
In his Easter address in St. Peter's Square in Rome, Pope Francis has reacted with great sadness to tens of thousands of believers to the series of attacks in Sri Lanka. He felt that "all the victims of this brutal violence" had "caused sorrow and pain on Easter Sunday," said the head of the Catholic Church shortly after the traditional Easter blessing "Urbi et Orbi" ("The City and the Earth").
"I want to express my intimacy to the Christian community that was met when it was gathered in prayer and to all the victims of such cruel violence." The pontiff said he prayed for "all injured and those who suffer because of the dramatic event".
In a series of attacks on four hotels and three Christian churches, more than 100 people were killed in Sri Lanka, including foreigners.
In his homily, Pope Francis called for an end to the war in Syria. The conflict runs the risk of being "taken more and more for granted by us and even of indifference," the Pope said.
Refugees should be allowed safe return
It is now "but the moment has come to renew the commitment to a political solution." The aim must be to enable the war refugees to return safely, especially to the many Syrians who have found shelter in neighboring Lebanon and Jordan, the Pope said.
The conflicting parties in civil war Libya, "where in recent weeks again defenseless people have been killed and many families were forced to leave their homes," called Francis to renounce violence. The parties would have to "prefer the dialogue of violence".
The Pope also demanded this from those involved in other crisis regions. Others mentioned East Ukraine, the civil war country of South Sudan, the Sahel states threatened by violent extremists Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon, as well as the Latin American crisis states of Venezuela and Nicaragua.