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Pope Francis: “We must avoid humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza”

Pope Francis expressed his pain over the “desperate” situation in Gaza and urged all people of faith to take “just one side in this conflict: that of peace”.

“The casualties are increasing and the situation in Gaza is desperate. Please do everything possible to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe,” he stressed.

In his weekly address to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope did not directly refer to the strike on a Gaza hospital, for which Israel and the Palestinians blame each other. This killed hundreds of Palestinians and sparked protests of anger in the Muslim world.

“The possible widening of the conflict is worrying at a time when many conflicts are already taking place in the world. Silence the weapons. Listen to the cry of the poor, the people, the children, for peace,” the pope said.

“War does not solve any problem, it only sows death and destruction, increases hatred, multiplies revenge. War erases the future,” he added.

“I urge all people of faith to take “just one side in this conflict: that of peace,” he stressed.

Pope Francis said that he would officiate at a special prayer for peace in St. Peter’s Basilica at 18:00 (19:00 Greek time) on 27 October 2023.

This day will be “a day of fasting, prayer, repentance”, he added and called on all Christians, believers of other religions and those who care about peace in the world to participate.