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New call for peace and Gaza ceasefire in Pope Francis’ Easter message

In his Urbi et Orbi address delivered at the conclusion of the Roman Catholic Easter Divine Liturgy, Pope Francis once again emphasised the urgent necessity for peace to reign. In St. Peter’s Square over 60,000 believers listened to the Pope’s message.

The pontiff read his message in which, among other things, he underlined:

“A new path leads through that empty tomb, the path that none of us, but God alone, could open. The path of life in the midst of death, of peace in the midst of war, of reconciliation in the midst of hatred, and of fraternity in the midst of hostility,” the Pope stressed. Despite occasional hoarseness in his voice, Pope Francis persevered and successfully delivered his analytical message to the faithful.

“My heartfelt thoughts are particularly directed towards the victims caught in the midst of numerous ongoing conflicts across the globe, beginning with those in Israel, Palestine, and Ukraine. May the Risen Lord open a way of peace for the suffering populations in these areas. In calling for respect for the principles of international law,” he continued, “I express my hope for a general exchange of all prisoners between Russia and Ukraine. All for the sake of all!” said the pontiff.

Pope Francis further urged for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, emphasised the imperative release of the October 7 hostages, and appealed for the prompt signing of an immediate ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip.

“Let us not allow the ongoing hostilities to have a serious impact on the civilian population and especially on children. How much suffering we see in their eyes! With those eyes, they ask us: Why? Why all this death? Why all this destruction? War is always absurdity and defeat. Let us collectively work to prevent the gathering winds of war, which are growing increasingly strong, from sweeping across Europe and the Mediterranean. Let us resist the temptation to yield to the logic of weapons and armaments. Peace is never made with arms, but with outstretched hands and open hearts.,” underlined the pope.

In his message, the Argentine pontiff also addressed the situation in Syria, Lebanon, and the Western Balkan region, noting the significant strides being made towards the fulfillment of the European project. Finally, Francis issued a call for intensified efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking.