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In His Easter Speech On Sunday, Pope Francis Urged Everyone To Reject “The Logic Of Weapons”

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The 87-year-old received his “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and the World) blessing yesterday after leading Easter Mass in Saint Peter’s Square in front of 60,000 worshippers and looking well.

Francis denounced violence as “always an absurdity and a defeat” in his customary statement, which was televised globally. He brought up the conflicts in Gaza, Sudan, Myanmar, Ukraine, and other places.

Reiterating his calls for larger relief delivery to the destroyed region and the release of captives abducted by Hamas during its historic October 7 attack on Israel that ignited the war, Netanyahu reaffirmed calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“Now at the limit of its endurance” is how he described the state of the civilian population, particularly the impact on children.

Easter Sunday marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is the culmination of Holy Week, a major part of the Catholic calendar followed by 1.3 billion people.

About 6,000 people from all over the world watched the pope preside over the Easter Vigil at the Vatican on Saturday. His last-minute cancellation from a significant Good Friday procession raised concerns about his health.
In a ten-minute homily, Jesus spoke in perfect Italian, denouncing “the walls of selfishness and indifference” that exist in the world.

The pope on Saturday presided over the Easter Vigil at the Vatican in front of some 6,000 people from around the world, a day after his last-minute cancellation at a major Good Friday procession revived questions about his health.

He delivered a 10-minute homily in Italian, speaking without any undue difficulty and condemning “the walls of selfishness and indifference” in the world.

At the end of the two-and-a-half-hour service he showed little sign of fatigue, taking time to greet and bless some of the worshippers.

In a brief statement Friday, the Vatican had said that “to preserve his health ahead of tomorrow’s vigil and the Easter Sunday mass, Pope Francis will this evening follow the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum from the Santa Marta Residence”, where he lives.

The last-minute decision raised questions about how long Francis can continue to lead the Catholic Church.

A Vatican source told AFP on Friday there was “no particular concern” about his health and  the decision to pull out had been “simply a measure of caution”.

The Argentinian Jesuit had also cancelled his participation in the “Via Crucis” in 2023, but that followed a three-day hospital stay for bronchitis, and was announced well ahead of time. Weeks later, he underwent a hernia operation.

Up until Friday, the pope had attended his various engagements throughout the week, but he recently appeared tired and has sometimes delegated speaking roles to colleagues.

Francis has previously left the door open to stepping down if he can no longer do the job. That would follow the example of his immediate predecessor, Benedict XVI, who in 2013 became the first pope since the Middle Ages to voluntarily step aside.

But in a memoir published this month, Francis wrote that he did “not have any cause serious enough to make me think of resigning”.

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