Since his election to the papacy, Pope Francis passionately called for peace in Syria, Iraq Gaza and Ukraine.
On September 2013, he gathered thousands in St. Peter's Square to pray for peace in Syria.
September 7, 2013
"Forgiveness, dialogue, reconciliation – these are the words of peace, in beloved Syria, in the Middle East, in all the world”
Months later, during his historic visit to the Holy Land, the Pope denounced the causes that fuel war around the world as well as in the Middle East.
May 24, 2014
"These are roots of all evil, hatred and greed, for money, for the construction and for the sale of weapons. This should make us all think, who is behind it all?”
However, the Pope delivered his strongest rejection of war during a Sunday Angelus. Visibly moved, Pope Francis prayed for an end to war in the name of the weakest.
July 27, 2014
"Dear Brothers and Sisters, Never resort to war! Never war! Above all, I think of all the children who are robbed of their hope for a better life and a decent future. Killed children, wounded children, mutilated children, orphans, children who play with remnants of war, instead of toys. Children who don't know how to smile. Please stop! I ask you with all my heart. It's time to stop. Stop it please!”
With the rise of the Islamic State, Pope Francis stressed that religions can coexist peacefully. During his trip to Albania, the Pope made it clear that no war can be justified by God.
September 21, 2014
"No one must use the name of God to commit violence. To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman.”
Lastly, when he commemorated the outbreak of World War I at a famed military cemetery, he noted that the same amount of conflicts existed then as they do now.
September 13, 2014
"Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought in pieces, with crimes, massacres, destruction...”
Pope Francis' rejection of war goes beyond words. With this gesture, he showed that dialogue is possible.
Along with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, he joined the presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray for peace and planted an olive tree with the hope that will bear lasting fruit.