By Khulile Thwala
Pope Francis condemned the numerous “stumbling blocks” to peace in the world during his traditional message for Easter.
In front of 100 000 Roman Catholics massed in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, the pope expressed his “deep concern” because of the attacks of recent days in the Middle East, which threatens according to him the “dialogue” between Israelis and Palestinians, against the background of renewed violence in the region.
In 2022, his message gave a special place to the war in Ukraine. “Comfort the wounded and those who have lost loved ones to the war, and allow prisoners to return safely to their families,” he said, calling on the international community to “put an end to this war and to all the conflicts that bloody the world”.
Citing some 20 countries, the head of the 1.3 billion Catholics highlighted “Lebanon, which is still seeking stability and unity,” Tunisia and its “social and economic problems,” the”serious socio-political and a humanitarian crisis” in Haiti and the “victims of international terrorism” in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique and Nigeria.
He also thought of the victims of the February earthquake in Turkey and Syria, which killed more than 56 000 people.