Pope Francis issues peace plea to all Holy See embassies

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Vatican City, Jul 30, 2014 / 08:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Signed by Vatican secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, a “nota verbale” was sent to all embassies accredited to the Holy See on behalf of Pope Francis, who urged ambassadors to work for peace.

According to Vatican Radio, the note, which has not been made public, was issued by Cardinal Parolin in an effort to promote peace, and included texts from recent speeches Pope Francis has given calling for peace, particularly in the Middle East.

In comments made to the agency, Msgr. Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states in the Roman Curia, explained the significance of sending the nota verbale, emphasizing that the current situation in the Middle East is a strong violation of human rights.

In making this gesture, the priest went on, the Holy See is inviting the entire international community to take the question of peace to heart.

Pope Francis has made several appeals for peace in recent weeks, and has made personal phone calls to the presidents of both Israel and Palestine asking for greater peace efforts, as well as to Syro-Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan of Antioch and Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon Louis Raphael I Sako to assure them of his prayers in wake of increasing violence toward Christians in Iraq.

Having called for peace after his weekly Sunday Angelus address for nearly the past month, Pope Francis made yet another heartfelt appeal in wake of the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI July 28, 1914.

Following his July 27 Angelus address, the Bishop of Rome referred to how pope Benedict XV had called the war a “senseless slaughter” that “after four long years” resulted “in a most fragile peace.”

Lamenting the millions killed in the “immense destruction” of the war, he urged attendees to learn from a history which is “increasingly dominated by the demands of peace through patient and courageous dialogue.”

Bringing to mind current ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine, the Pope asked that “you continue to join me in prayer that the Lord may grant the people and authorities of those areas the wisdom and strength needed to push ahead on the path of peace by addressing each dispute with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation with the power of reconciliation.”

“Brothers and sisters: Never war! Never war!” he exclaimed.

Calling to mind the effect of war on children who are killed, wounded maimed or orphaned, the pontiff grieved that many have lost “hope for a decent life” and “do not know how to smile” anymore.

“Stop, please!” he said to those involved in violent conflict. “I ask you with all my heart.”

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