Pope: 'A negotiated peace is better than an endless war'

In an interview with CBS, Pope Francis calls for an end to the wars in Ukraine, Gaza, and around the world. He says there is room for everyone in the Church pointing out that if a parish priest doesn't seem welcoming, one can look elsewhere: “There is always a place, don't run away from the Church.”

Apr 26, 2024

File photo of Pope Francis during an interview

VATICAN: Referring in particular to the wars in Ukraine, in Gaza and others that continue to ravage the world, Pope Francis said " Please, countries at war, all of them… Stop the war. Look to negotiate. Look for peace. A negotiated peace is better than a war without end."

The Pope was speaking during an interview granted to the US radio-television broadcaster CBS, on Wednesday afternoon at Casa Santa Marta.

Some excerpts from the hour-long interview conducted by Norah O'Donnell, director of "CBS Evening News," were broadcast shortly after. An extended version of the conversation will be aired on Sunday, May 19, on the eve of World Children's Day, which will take place in Rome on May 25 and 26.

The Pope, who has invited all countries at war to stop the conflicts and choose the path of negotiation was asked to comment on the term "genocide" being used by some in relation to what is happening in Gaza. The Pope repeated the word and said he maintains daily contact with that reality. "I pray a lot" for a ceasefire in Gaza, he said, recalling that every evening at 7:00 pm he calls the only Catholic parish in the Strip for news: “There are about 600 people there. And they tell me what's going on. It's very hard. Very, very hard. Food goes in, but they have to fight for it. It's very hard."

Asked about the consequences for children of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pope Francis replied: "Those children don't know how to smile. I tell them something, but they have forgotten how to smile. And this is very hard when a child forgets to smile. That's really very serious. Very serious."

Pope Francis also spoke about climate change, which "exists," and regarding World Children's Day, he said: "Children always bear a message. They bear a message. And it is a way for us to have a younger heart." To a question about his health, he replied with a smile: "I'm fine."

And reiterating that there is room for everyone in the Church he said: " I would say that there is always a place, always. If in this parish the priest doesn't seem welcoming, I understand, but go and look, there is always a place. Do not run away from the Church. The Church is very big. It's more than a temple. ... You shouldn't run away from her."--Vatican News

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