‘Nothing can justify’ chemical weapons in Syria, pope says


Associated Press

VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis closed his traditional Sunday blessing by saying “nothing can justify” the use of chemical weapons against defenseless populations and called for those responsible for a suspected attack in Syria to seek negotiations.

The pope referred to news of dozens killed, including many children and women, in a suspected poison gas attack on a rebel-held town near the Syrian capital. He offered prayers for the dead and the families that are suffering.

‘’There is not a good or a bad war, and nothing can justify such instruments that exterminate defenseless people and populations,” the pope said. ‘’Let’s pray that the responsible politicians and military leaders choose another path: that of negotiations, the only one that can bring peace.”

Earlier, in a Mass focused on mercy, a signature theme of his papacy, Pope Francis has urged the faithful to not give up on the sacrament of reconciliation, especially those who continue to backslide.

The divine mercy Sunday celebration was established by Pope John Paul II.

On Tuesday, the missionaries are due to have an audience with Francis, followed by a special Mass with him at St. Peter’s Basilica.

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