Pope: Deaths of Children in Fighting Is 'Unacceptable'

Francis urges Israelis, Palestinians to break cycle of revenge
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2021 10:30 AM CDT
Pope Urges Palestinians, Israelis to End Fighting
Pope Francis says a Mass for the people of Myanmar on Sunday.   (Remo Casilli/Pool Photo via AP)

Focusing on the deaths of children, Pope Francis on Sunday urged an end to the Israeli-Palestinian fighting. "Many innocent people have died, amongst them there are also children," the pope said Sunday. "This is terrible. Unacceptable. Their death is a sign that (people) don't want to build a future, but destroy it." The comments came during his weekly address to the gathering in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Reuters reports. On Saturday, an Israeli airstrike killed 10 Palestinians, including eight children, in Gaza City. Wondering "where hatred and revenge will lead," the pope said, "I appeal for calm, and for those responsible to end the clamor of weapons and to take the path of peace." The cycle of hatred and violence between Jewish and Arab people in Israel, he said, per the Catholic News Agency, will be difficult to break unless a dialogue is opened immediately.

Joined by students and nuns from Myanmar, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass for peace in their country on Sunday in St. Peter's Basilica, per the AP. The country's military took over Myanmar, which the pope visited in 2017, in a coup early this year. Government forces have killed more than 750 protesters and others in trying to put down opposition since. "Do not lose hope," the pope said Sunday, urging Myanmar's small Christian community to work for peace. He prayed for God to "set us free from evil’s power" and urged unity, per the Catholic News Agency. "This is a deadly disease: the disease of division," he said. (More Pope Francis stories.)

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