On Easter, Pope condemns 'vile' Syrian attack

Pope Francis prayed: '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.

After Mass, Francis toured St Peter's Square with the popemobile to greet the faithful, and then was due to deliver the Urbi et Orbi message - usually a call for world peace - from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica.

"Especially in these days, may he sustain the efforts of all those actively engaged in bringing comfort and relief to the civil population in Syria, prey to a war that continues to sow horror and death".

Francis, marking the fifth Easter season of his pontificate, said Mass before tens of thousands of people under exceptional security measures in St. Peter's Square following recent vehicle attacks against pedestrians in London and Stockholm.

The church's first pontiff from Latin America voiced concern over the "political and social tensions" in the world as well as the "scourge of corruption" on his home continent.

Pope Francis denounced "oppressive regimes" in his Easter message Sunday during an outdoor mass held under extraordinary security.

The pontiff also called for an end to the conflicts in Ukraine, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Pope Francis began his Urbi et Orbi thus: "Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter!"

In Egypt, Coptic Christians marked a somber Easter a week after twin bombings by the Islamic State group killed dozens of worshippers at churches in two separate cities.

Benedict stepped down in 2013 citing his increased frailty.

Being "men and women of the resurrection, men and women of life" involves making "gestures of solidarity, gestures of welcome, increasing the universal desire for peace and the aspiration for an environment free of degradation", the pope said April 17 before reciting the "Regina Coeli" prayer.

Do you ever have any question about anything you wish to ask and get answer?

  • Leroy Wright