Pope Francis in Sarajevo warns those who promote war
Pope Francis rode the Popemobile past several cemeteries in Sarajevo. They had a special resonance, because they were built for the more than 11,000 people who died during the four-year siege of the city.
Later, he also visited the same stadium that Pope John Paul II had come to years ago. 60,000 people filled the venue, but from the helicopter it seemed like more.
There was a special place in the stadium reserved for those who were hurt or mutilated during the war. That way, they could also attend this Mass dedicated to peace and justice.
In his homily, Pope Francis directly called out those who he blamed for war.
"In the context of global communications, we sense an atmosphere of war. Some wish to incite and foment this atmosphere deliberately, mainly those who want conflict between different cultures and societies, and those who speculate on wars for the purpose of selling arms.â?
In Sarajevo, Pope Francis invited people to think deeply before supporting or defending armed conflict.
"War means children, women and the elderly in refugee camps; it means forced displacement of peoples; it means destroyed houses, streets and factories; it means, above all, countless shattered lives. You know this well, having experienced it here. No more war!â?
The Pope then explained that politicians are not the only ones responsible for creating justice and peace. He said that it is made with small gestures in daily life, and by showing forgiveness at all levels.
"This person, these people, whom I looked upon as my enemy really have the same face as I do, the same heart, the same soul. We have the same Father in heaven. True justice, then, is doing to others what I would want them to do to me, to my people.â?
The other star of the ceremony was the chorus. The dozens of voices accompanied by a large orchestra played beautiful Bosnian and Croatian music.