Pope Francis on Wednesday once more expressed his deep concern at the worsening violence in the Middle East.
“I am very concerned at the escalation of tension in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, and the spiral of violence that is moving away further from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiation,” he said at the end of his general audience in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square.
“I express my great sorrow for the dead and wounded and with prayer and affection I am close to all who suffer,” he said speaking in Italian.
“I repeat that the use of violence can never lead to peace,” he said, stressing that “war begets war, violence begets violence.”
The Holy Father thus called on all parties concerned and the international community to renew their commitment to ensure that dialogue, justice and peace prevail.
The Pope then recited the “Hail Mary” prayer, inviting all to join him in praying to Mary, Queen of Peace.
Pope wishes Muslims for Ramadan
Pope Francis also made it an occasion to extend his “cordial wishes” to Muslims worldwide who on Thursday begin their fasting month of Ramadan. He wished that this “privileged time of prayer and fasting help in walking the path of God which is of peace.”