Pope Francis’ Easter Message: End Violence & Oppression … Pope Called for an End to “the Present Absurd Bloodshed and all Barbarous Acts of Violence” of Radical Islam
Pope Francis Easter Message: “Oh God, who on this day through your only begotten son have conquered death and unmarked for us the path to eternity. [...] We ask peace above all for beloved Syria and Iraq. That the roar of arms cease and that peaceful relations be restored”.
During Pope Francis’ message this Easter Sunday, he called for an end to the bloodshed in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and in Africa and called for the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries. Francis prayed for an end to the violence and persecution of Christians, specifically mentioning the recent slaughter of students massacred by Islamist militants at Garissa University in Kenya.
Pope Francis prayed for an end to the persecution of Christians in his Easter Sunday address, commemorating the students massacred by Islamist militants at Garissa University in Kenya.
Calling for peace in Libya, where last February Islamic State militants beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, the pope called for an end to “the present absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence”.
He prayed for peace in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, where Boko Haram Islamist militants have also targeted Christian churches.
“We ask for peace and freedom for the many men and women subject to old and new forms of enslavement on the part of criminal individuals and groups,” he said.
Pope Francis reminded the world of the Vatican’s status as a state and his role as a moral diplomat in his traditional speech given at the end of Easter Mass.
The Pontiff lamented the suffering of people in the conflicts currently making headlines and called for violence everywhere to end.
Foremost, he asked that bloodshed end in Iraq and Syria and that humanitarian aid get to those in need.
“May the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries and the drama of the numerous refugees,” he said in his “urbi et orbi” address, Latin for “to the city (Rome) and to the world.”
Then he turned to the Holy Land, expressing the wish that the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians resume.
Francis mentioned Libya; the nuclear talks with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland; Yemen; Nigeria; South Sudan; and the shooting at the Garissa University College in Kenya.
The Full Easter Mass can be seen below
“Jesus Christ is risen! Love has triumphed over hatred, life has conquered death, light has dispelled the darkness!
Out of love for us, Jesus Christ stripped himself of his divine glory, emptied himself, took on the form of a slave and humbled himself even to death, death on a cross. For this reason God exalted him and made him Lord of the universe. Jesus is Lord! By his death and resurrection, Jesus shows everyone the way to life and happiness: this way is humility, which involves humiliation. This is the path which leads to glory. Only those who humble themselves can go towards the “things that are above”, towards God (cf. Col 3:1-4). The proud look “down from above”; the humble look “up from below”.
On Easter morning, alerted by the women, Peter and John ran to the tomb. They found it open and empty. Then they drew near and “bent down” in order to enter it. To enter into the mystery, we need to “bend down”, to abase ourselves. Only those who abase themselves understand the glorification of Jesus and are able to follow him on his way.
The world proposes that we put ourselves forward at all costs, that we compete, that we prevail. But Christians, by the grace of Christ, dead and risen, are the seeds of another humanity, in which we seek to live in service to one another, not to be arrogant, but rather respectful and ready to help.
This is not weakness, but true strength! Those who bear within them God’s power, his love and his justice, do not need to employ violence; they speak and act with the power of truth, beauty and love.
From the risen Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace. We ask Jesus, the Victor over death, to lighten the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing conflicts and violence.
We ask for peace, above all, for Syria and Iraq, that the roar of arms may cease and that peaceful relations may be restored among the various groups which make up those beloved countries. May the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries and the drama of the numerous refugees.
We pray for peace for all the peoples of the Holy Land. May the culture of encounter grow between Israelis and Palestinians and the peace process be resumed, in order to end years of suffering and division.
We implore peace for Libya, that the present absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence may cease, and that all concerned for the future of the country may work to favor reconciliation and to build a fraternal society respectful of the dignity of the person. For Yemen too we express our hope for the growth of a common desire for peace, for the good of the entire people. (the rest of the message)