“Good morning, I greet you all and welcome you. Thank you for this visit which I like very much but it happens that I am not in good health and for this reason I prefer not to read the speech but to give it to you and for you to carry it”. She said it Pope francesco in the first public audience in the Vatican press room with the European Rabbis. The pontiff who pronounced these words in a very tired voice and did not continue further. Among other things, Pope Francis today has a busy agenda of personal meetings and public hearings. A meeting is also scheduled for the afternoon, with seven thousand children from all over the world. “He has a bit of a cold and a long day of audiences. He had the desire to greet the European rabbis individually and for this reason he delivered the speech. Otherwise the Pope’s activities continue regularly”, said Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.
“Compassion, justice and dialogue are adequate means to build peace”
In his speech delivered to the European Rabbis, Pope Francis stated that the Word of God “directs our steps precisely to the search for others, to acceptance, to patience; certainly not to the sudden rush of revenge and the madness of war hatred. How important it is, therefore, for us believers to be witnesses of dialogue.” For the pontiff “not weapons, not terrorism, not war, but compassion, justice and dialogue are the appropriate means to build peace”. The Pope also underlined the importance of Jewish-Christian dialogue, specifying that “to become builders of peace, we are called to be builders of dialogue”. Pope Francis then condemned the anti-Semitic demonstrations that have exploded again following the conflict in the Middle East. In the speech the pontiff referred to what is happening in the Middle East: “Once again violence and war have broken out in that Land which, blessed by the Almighty, seems continually opposed by the baseness of hatred and the fatal noise of weapons – he stated -. And the spread of anti-Semitic demonstrations, which I firmly condemn, is worrying.”
War in the Middle East, Obama: “No one is innocent”
The meeting with the children is scheduled for the afternoon
The seven thousand children who will participate in the meeting with “Children meet the Pope” this afternoon come from 84 different countries. The little ones will share their hopes and concerns for the future and ask questions to the pontiff. The initiative will take place in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican. The largest group of children is that of Lazio, over 700 from Rome and 600 from Viterbo, traveling in these hours on board special trains and buses made available by Trenitalia . The young people will in fact arrive at San Pietro on board 63 special buses, of which 30 from Busitalia, and eight extraordinary trains made available by the FS Italiane Group. The meeting is sponsored by the Dicastery for Culture and Education and organized in synergy with the Community of Sant’Egidio, Cooperativa Auxilium, Trenitalia and Busitalia (companies of the FS Italiane Group), Regional School Offices and with the support of the Franciscan world, of the PerugiAssisi Foundation and the Italian Football Federation. The initiative is also accompanied by the publication of the “Children’s Encyclical”, a book co-authored by Father Enzo Fortunato and Aldo Cagnoli with a preface by Pope Francis. It is a look at the little ones, in a time marked by wars. Yesterday afternoon, foreign children who had already arrived from all the continents of the world met in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles to talk about the climate and to see the documentary “Earth4All and the world of Francis”.
Pope Francis’ appeal: “In the name of God, stop the war”
Father Fortunato: “Children ask us to listen”
“The children who are arriving from the most distant corners of the planet – says Father Enzo Fortunato – are questioning us. Today they ask us to listen and by looking at their eyes, looking at their faces, read the dream of a better world, read that their ability to embrace everyone, to greet everyone. If we adults don’t allow ourselves to be questioned by them, we won’t be able to give them a better way.”
Pope: “War is defeated, two states are needed. How am I? Still alive”
The Pope’s appeal to the Angelus
Yesterday all’Angelus Pope Francis, speaking about the war between Israel and Hamas, addressed a thought specifically to children, launching an appeal: “May the wounded be helped and help reach the population of Gaza where the humanitarian situation is very serious. Let the hostages be released immediately. Among them there are also many children: let them return to their families. Let’s think of the children, of all the children involved in this war as well as in Ukraine and other conflicts: this is how their future is being killed.” The Pope then asked us to pray “so that we have the strength to say enough” to the war (UPDATES ON THE WAR – THE SPECIAL).
Israel-Hamas war, ceasefire or humanitarian pause: what they are