Conducting his weekly Angelus prayer from the window of the papal apartments overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis urged the faithful to pray for migrants and refugees who have lost their lives at sea or during their arduous journeys over land.
The pope also called on the faithful to reach out, saying that personal encounters with migrants and refugees can help dispel distorted fears and ideologies.
In his comments after the Sunday prayer, the pope also called for joint efforts to guarantee the success of the peace process in the Central African Republic (CAR), a country he visited in late 2015.
Repeated political crises in CAR have fuelled conflict since 2003. The most recent violence erupted in 2013 when a mostly Muslim rebel coalition overthrew the then-president Francois Bozize, prompting reprisals from Christian militias.
A litany of killing, rape, mutilation, pillage and torture committed by successive governments and armed groups in CAR from 2003-15 may constitute crimes against humanity, the United Nations said in a report at the end of May.
“I would like to offer a special greeting to the official representation of the Central African Republic and of the United Nations, who these days are in Rome for a meeting promoted by the Community of Sant’ Egidio.”
“I carry in my heart the visit I made to the country in November 2015 and I hope that with the help of God and the goodwill of everyone, the peace process, which is a necessary condition for development, will be fully reinvigorated and strengthened.”
– By REUTERS