The Pope Honors Terrorism Victims In Brussels & Beyond At His Easter Services
At his Easter Sunday services at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Pope Francis took some time to denounce "blind" terrorism. During his speech, the Pope honored the victims in Brussels while recalling and remembering victims of terroristic acts across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. One of his major points led into and discussed the lack of safe places for refugees to flee these heinous acts as nations continue to debate whether or not to accept these people. His general message was, as always, one of peace, solidarity, and hope, using metaphors like "weapons of love" to express his wish for salvation "before the spiritual and moral abysses of mankind."
As tens of thousands stood before him, the Pope delivered his "Urbi et Orbi" address at noon, as is tradition, despite years of Islamic extremists on social media repeatedly naming the Vatican and Rome as potential targets for attack. Likewise, Pope Francis has not altered his own practice of remaining in close physical contact with regular people. These looming threats did not deter him from his message that Jesus "triumphed over evil and sin," citing the recent attacks in Belgium, Turkey, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Iraq, and praying for success in ongoing peace talks and for interreligious dialogue to end violence.
His prayers also expressed hope for solutions to the Syrian war and for peace in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. A large portion of his speech was devoted to the divisive issue of accepting refugees, in the wake of some European nations closing their borders and others agreeing to detain refugees in Greece with the intention of returning them to Turkey. The Pope again did his best to promote welcoming these people:
Pope Francis has actively made strides toward stopping terroristic violence, including an offer to speak with Islamic State terrorists in an effort to bring about peace. He believes a dialogue is a necessary part of healing, which he noted on Good Friday as he decried terrorism during his services in Rome.