Pope warns bloodshed in Gaza hurts peace: 'War begets war'

Archbishop Charles Scicluna was appointed special investigator in the Chilean sex abuse scandal

Archbishop Charles Scicluna was appointed special investigator in the Chilean sex abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY, Holy See - Pope Francis said Wednesday, May 16, he was "very worried" by escalating violence in the Middle East after 60 Gazans were shot dead by Israeli troops while protesting the United States embassy's move to Jerusalem.

Thousands of Palestinians were injured on Monday, and local authorities say that at least 58 were killed by Israeli forces along the Gaza border. "I express my great pain for the deaths and injuries. and reiterate that the use of violence never leads to peace".

Israel has come under mounting worldwide pressure after its forces opened fire on the Gaza border on Monday, killing 60 protesters who had massed alongside the fence to protest as the U.S. moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"War begets war, violence begets violence", he said.

"May God have mercy on us", Francis said.

"I invite all the parties involved and the global community to renew their commitment because dialogue, justice and peace prevail", Francis continued, before leading the thousands who were gathered in St. Peter's Square in praying a Hail Mary.

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These items make visible the invisible spiritual effects of the sacrament, he said, noting how the white garment reminds us of St. Paul's words: "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ".

Again quoting the words of St. Paul, he said: "Clothe yourselves with sentiments of tenderness, of goodness, of humility, of meekness, of magnanimity, enduring each other and forgiving one another".

Pope Francis finished his catechesis on baptism with an especially energetic audience. He also explained the meaning of the baptismal candle, lit from the Paschal candle.

"I was in Ausonia in the year '59". Christian education is a right for children.

The meeting was prompted by the reception of 2300-page report by two special envoys sent to Rome by Pope Francis earlier this year. "May the Lord grant all of us the grace to be able to take our leave and step down in this way [like Paul], with that spirit, with that strength, with that love for Jesus Christ and this faith in the Holy Spirit".

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