Pope Francis prays for peaceful coexistence in Baghdad during his General Audience

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Pope Francis began a new series of catechesis on discernment during his General Audience. In the Paul VI Audience Hall, he spoke about the importance of discenment in ordinary life as these decisions can become turning points in life.

Discernment — as I’ve said — involves hard work. According to the Bible, we do not find set before us, pre-packaged, the life we are to live. No, we have to decide continuously according to the reality that comes. God invites us to evaluate and choose: He created us free and wants us to exercise our freedom. Therefore, discerning is demanding.

At the end of the Audience, the Pope remembered the 83rd anniversary of the beginning of World War II in Poland on September 1, encouraging pilgrims to create a culture of peace and to remember those facing war today.

And today, we are experiencing the third [world war]. May the memory of the past experience challenge you to cultivate peace within yourselves, in your families, in social and international life. We pray in a special way for the people of Ukraine.  

 He also asked for prayers for the people in Baghdad following protests near the Parliament building, which left 22 people dead.

And I follow with concern the violent events that have taken place in Baghdad in recent days. We implore God in prayer to give peace to the people of Iraq. Last year, I had the joy of visiting. I felt the near and great desire for normalcy and
peaceful coexistence among the different religious communities there.

As September 1 marks the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and the beginning of the season of creation, which will end on October 4, Pope Francis encouraged pilgrims to commit to care for the Earth as man's common home—a message that the Pope has reiterated in his encyciclal, Laudato Si'.


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