Pontifex calls for peace ending conflicts and “carnage”

Pope Francis, in his traditional Easter address called for peace in the Holy Land two days after 15 Palestinians were killed on the Israeli-Gaza border, saying the conflict there “does not spare the defenseless”.

Pontifex made his appeal in his “Urbi et Orbi” – to the city and the world – message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to believers in the flower-bedecked square below where he earlier celebrated a Mass.

Further in his speech he also appealed for an end to the “carnage” in Syria, calling for humanitarian aid to be allowed to enter, and for peace in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Pope Francis led an Easter vigil service, baptizing eight adults, including a undocumented Nigerian migrant beggar who came into public eye when he disarmed an Italian thief wielding a cleaver.

The baptism took place during a long Holy Saturday, or Easter eve, Mass for some 10,000 people in St. Peter’s Basilica.

 

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