Pope Francis renews his appeal to countries at war: “Stop to negotiate”


By John

Pope Francis renews his appeal to countries at war to lay down their weapons to make room for peace negotiations. And he returns to exhort, arguing his appeal with other words, that ability to “raise the white flag” that he had caused so much discussion after the previews of his interview on Swiss TV RSI. Meanwhile, tomorrow morning, around 8.30, the Pope will receive the families of five Israeli hostages held by Hamas in the Vatican.

The relatives of the hostages arrived in Rome today with Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who will in turn meet the Secretary for Relations with States, Monsignor, in the Vatican tomorrow. Paul Richard Gallagher. The meeting with the Pope is reserved for family members only. “Our prayer for peace, a just and lasting peace, in particular for the tormented Ukraine and for Palestine and Israel, may not fail”, Francis said today at the recitation of the Regina Coeli in front of the 15 thousand faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square . “May the Spirit of the risen Lord enlighten and support those who work to reduce tension and encourage gestures that make negotiations possible”, added the Pontiff. And he reiterated: «May the Lord give managers the ability to stop for a while to negotiate, to negotiate».

On the Sunday that John Paul II dedicated to Divine Mercy, the Pontiff once again stands against the “war rhetoric” that increasingly invades political discourse and against the indiscriminate use of weapons which risks amplifying and widening conflicts to the point of unpredictable outcomes. Already yesterday in a post on X on his account @Pontifex, the Pope had recalled: «Tomorrow we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Let us never doubt God's love, but let us consistently and trustfully entrust our lives and the world to the Lord, asking him in particular for a just peace for the nations tormented by war.”

And today, as a ground of pacification and universal brotherhood, Bergoglio also evoked the world of sport. «Yesterday was the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – he also explained at the Regina Caeli -. We all know how much practicing a sport can educate towards an open, supportive sociality without prejudice.” «But for this we need managers and trainers who don't just aim for victory or profit – he observed -. Let's promote a sport that promotes social friendship and brotherhood!”.

And in his commentary on the day's readings, before the Marian prayer, the Pope warned today that “following the paths of pleasure and power one cannot find happiness”. In short, “that's not how life is.” And the alternative is “the encounter with Jesus”. But the final question asks everyone: “Do I let myself be pushed by Him to love my brothers and sisters and to hope every day? Everyone think about this.”