Pope Francis, in an interview with the Italian newspaper ‘La Stampa,’ has renewed his calls for a global ceasefire, warning that the world is on the brink of the abyss.
In a Vatican News report, the Pope emphasized the importance of implementing the Oslo agreement, with its clear resolution for two states, as essential for achieving true peace in the Holy Land.
In response to the recent attacks by Hamas and the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, the Pope shared his thoughts with Domenico Agasso, a Vatican-focused journalist for La Stampa, expressing deep concern for the situation.
He urged an immediate cessation of hostilities, calling for a “global ceasefire” to prevent further escalation.
Pope Francis refrained from labeling any war as “just,” emphasizing the need to avoid justifying conflicts and expressing his fear of a broader military escalation in the Middle East.
Despite the challenges, he expressed hope, citing confidential meetings aimed at reaching agreements and praising the efforts of Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, in mediating.
Speaking about the conflicts in the Holy Land and Ukraine, the Pope highlighted ongoing efforts to mediate an exchange of prisoners and the repatriation of Ukrainian civilians, particularly children.
He mentioned collaborating with Maria Llova-Belova, the Russian commissioner for children’s rights, in this regard.
Addressing the recent declaration ‘Fiducia supplicans,’ Pope Francis defended the inclusivity of the document, emphasizing that it aims to include rather than divide.
He clarified that the Gospel calls for the sanctification of everyone, irrespective of their circumstances, and stated that the declaration invites people to trust in God.
In response to criticism, the Pope acknowledged dissenting voices, describing them as belonging to small ideological groups.
He noted the particular challenges in Africa, where cultural perspectives on homosexuality differ, expressing trust that the spirit of the declaration would gradually be understood and accepted.
Pope Francis admitted to occasional feelings of solitude but affirmed his commitment to moving forward.
He dismissed fears of potential schisms, stating that such reflections of a schismatic nature within the Church should be allowed to pass away while looking ahead to the future.