Pope Francis held peace talks with religious leaders and victims of war in the Italian town of Assisi on Tuesday, broaching issues such as religious extremism and escalating violence around the world.
“There is no God of war,” the Argentine said, denouncing extremist factions waging war in the name of God. “As we pray today, it would be good if we all felt shame, shame that humans, our brothers and sisters, are capable of doing this.”
The 79-year-old Pope’s comments come as fighting resumed in Syria after the ceasefire agreement, brokered by the United States and Russia, collapsed. This was after the US bombed Syrian Army positions killing at least 70 soldiers, moments before ISIS attacked the same place.
Before flying to Assisi, the Pope reminded the developed world that the string of deadly jihadist attacks it has endured did not compare to the devastation in other parts of the world.
“We are frightened… by some terrorist acts” but “this is nothing compared to what is happening in those countries, in those lands where day and night bombs fall,” he said at a morning mass in the Vatican.