Pope urges peace in Syria, Koreas
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis marked Christianity's most joyous day with a passionate plea for world peace, celebrating his first Easter Sunday as pontiff in the enthusiastic company of more than 250,000 people who overflowed from St. Peter's Square.
With physical gestures, he illustrated the personal, down-to-earth tone he brings as a pastor to this new papacy — cradling a disabled child held out to him in the crowd and delightedly accepting a surprise gift thrust at him.
Francis shared in his flock's exuberance as they celebrated Christianity's core belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. After Mass in flower-bedecked St. Peter's Square (Francis thanked florists from the Netherlands for donating the blooms), he stepped aboard an open-topped, white popemobile for a cheerful spin through pathways in the joyous crowd, kissing babies, smiling constantly and patting children on the head.
One admirer of both the pope and his favorite soccer team from his Argentine homeland, Saints of San Lorenzo, insisted that Francis take a team jersey he was waving at the pontiff — “take it, go ahead, take it,” the man seemed to be telling the pope. Finally, a delighted Francis obliged, briefly holding up the shirt, and the crowd roared in approval. He handed the shirt to an aide in the front seat, and the popemobile continued its whirl through the square.
The Roman Catholic leader aimed his Easter greetings at “every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons.” Francis prayed that Jesus would inspire people to “change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace.”
He urged Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks and end a conflict that “has lasted all too long.” And, in reflecting on the two-year-old Syrian crisis, Francis asked, “How much suffering must there still be before a political solution” can be found?
The pope also expressed desire for a “spirit of reconciliation” on the Korean peninsula.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Canada’s PM says shooting rampage was terrorism
- Canadians more fearful, aware after ‘very rare’ attack in Ottawa
- ISIS claims it grabs U.S. military ware
- Lone gunman kills monument guard, attacks Canada’s Parliament
- Iraqi Kurds to send fighters to aid Kobani
- 2 dead in shooting attack at Canada’s Parliament
- Spate of attacks kills dozens in Iraq, appears to target Shiites
- Secretary of State Kerry’s airplane grounded a 4th time
- Fiercest fighting in days hits Syrian border town of Kobani
- U.S. losing drug war in Afghanistan despite $7.6B eradication effort, inspector general reports
- American baby killed, 8 hurt as car plows into crowd at Jerusalem train station