Pope Francis Condemns "vile" Syria Attack

VATICAN CITY (AP) - On Christianity's most joyful day, Pope Francis lamented the horrors generated by war and hatred, delivering an Easter Sunday message that also decried the "latest vile" attack on civilians in Syria.

Christian clergymen hold candles during the Easter Sunday procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many Christians to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, in Jerusale.

Pope Francis leaves St. Peter's Square at the end of the Easter Mass on April 16, 2017 in Vatican City, Vatican.

But in an apparent call for restraint, he also urged world leaders to prevent the spread of conflicts amid tensions in North Korea and Syria.

He also referred to the need for peace in the Middle East and solidarity with the peoples of South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which are now suffering from the perpetuation of conflicts intensified by the very serious shortages in certain regions of Africa.

Speaking of Europe's problems, Francis cited the continued conflict and bloodshed in Ukraine and prayed for hope for those struggling with high unemployment, especially young people.

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.

The entire area around St Peter's Basilica was blocked off, with only several access points for those admitted after having their bags inspected.

Security has been tight for all of the pope's Holy Week activities following recent truck attacks against pedestrians in London and Stockholm. Hundreds of police and security forces stood guard.

"There will doubtless be something on the menu to mark his birthday", former Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters last week.

"He will see his brother Georg, which will be the best present for him", he said. He was the first pontiff to do so in 600 years.

Addressing the civil war in Syria, the Pope said a prayer for humanitarian workers there.

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

  • Leroy Wright