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Pope Francis

Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI before his upcoming birthday

April 13, 2017. Vatican releases statement that the pope visited Benedict XVI yesterday.

Pope Francis condemns chemical bombing in Syria and terrorist attack in St. Petersburg


Pope Francis began his General Audience by greeting the pilgrims, and after consoling this little boy, he did not want to let go of the Holy Father. 

During the event, the pope continued his weekly catechesis on hope, and concluded by strongly condemning the recent terrorist attacks in both Syria and Russia. 

On Tuesday, a chemical bombing in Syria killed dozens of innocent civilians, while on Monday, a bombing in St. Petersburg killed 14. 

"In this moment, my thoughts go to the recent and grave attacks in the St. Petersburg metro that produced many victims and casualties. We witness the latest events in Syria. I express my strong disapproval for unacceptable massacre that took place yesterday in the Idlib province, where dozens of unarmed people were killed, including many children. I pray for the victims and their families, and I appeal to the conscience of those who have political responsibilities, both locally and internationally, to cease this tragedy and bring relief to the  population that has been exhausted by war for too long.”

During his catechesis, Pope Francis also spoke on the importance of hope, and recalled the words of St. Peter, who said that "it is better to suffer doing good.”

"When we suffer for the good, we are in communion with the Lord, who agreed to suffer and be crucified for our salvation. When we, too, in both big and small situations of our life, accept to suffer for the good, it's as if emit the resurrection and seeds of life around us, and we did shine the light of Easter in darkness.”

Due to the attacks in both Russia and Syria this week, the Holy Father's words on hope had a very strong significance.