Sunday, April 16, 2017

Pope denounces 'oppressive regimes' in Easter Message



Pope Francis denounced "oppressive regimes" in his Easter message on April 16, but in an apparent call for restraint urged world leaders to prevent the spread of conflicts, as tensions rose in North Korea and Syria. Francis, marking the fifth Easter season of his pontificate, said Mass before tens of thousands of people under exceptional security measures in St. Peter's Square following recent vehicle attacks against pedestrians in London and Stockholm. In his Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message, delivered from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, Francis spoke of a world lacerated by conflicts and laced with tensions without naming any specific governments.

From the same balcony where he first appeared to the world on the night of his election in 2013, Francis also condemned the bomb blast on a crowded Syrian bus convoy that killed at least 112 people outside Aleppo as an "ignoble" attack, asking God to bring healing and comfort to what he called the "beloved and martyred Syria". Repeatedly during Holy Week services, Francis has drawn attention to the plight of war victims, refugees and migrants.

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