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Pope condemns use of chemical weapons in Syria
Pope Francis has called for peaceful resolution to Syria's escalating civil war.
September 2nd, 2013
11:39 AM ET

Pope condemns use of chemical weapons in Syria

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - As President Obama rallies support for a military strike on Syria, Pope Francis condemned chemical weapons and called for an international day of fasting and prayer to press for a peaceful resolution to Syria's escalating civil war.

The pope tweeted an anti-war message to his nearly 3 million Twitter followers on Monday, repeating a theme he has sounded with increasing urgency in recent days.

On Sunday, Francis devoted much of his Angelus address in Rome to Syria.

"There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry," the pope said, "but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming."

However, the pope also said that people who use chemical weapons - as the Syrian government has been accused of doing - will face divine judgement.

"With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable!"

The pope also proclaimed September 7 a day of prayer and fasting for Syrian peace, and invited the world's 1.5 billion Catholics, as well as other Christians, followers of different religions and "all men of goodwill" to join him.

From 7-12 p.m. in Rome, Francis said, "we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world."

"Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace!" he said.

On Monday, the pope met with a delegation from the World Jewish Congress as Judaism's High Holidays approach. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, begins September 5.

“Pope Francis’ leadership has not only reinvigorated the Catholic Church but also given a new momentum to relations with Judaism," said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.

"Never in the past 2,000 years have relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people been so good."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Foreign policy • Pope Francis • Syria

soundoff (516 Responses)
  1. Lionly Lamb

    Truth in science of cannabinoid and its war waged in the microbial systems

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2uuO1c6-Tw&w=640&h=360]

    September 2, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  2. Apple Bush

    mzh, what do you want? Lots of sloppy wet wishes?

    September 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • mzh

      AB,

      I want nothing but good for you and your loved ones...

      September 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I see a little crush brewing...

      September 2, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  3. Lionly Lamb

    What is the pope's views on pharmaceutical "Drug" manufactures patenting of genetic anomalies of naturally occurring substances..? Is not the war against natural remedies by big pharmaceutical empires a religious war against natures remedies and patented genetically altered manmade substances that are known to be carcinogenetic which is a big word meaning causing cancer..?

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpVxYA9FF1g&w=640&h=360]

    September 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      What is the pope's views on pharmaceutical "Drug" manufactures patenting of manmade genetically malformed anomalies of naturally occurring substances..? Is not the war against natural remedies by big "pharmaceutical empires" religious war against natures naturally occurring remedies by patented genetically altered manmade substances that are known to be carcinogenetic which is a big word meaning cancer causing agents on microbial levels..?

      September 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  4. Alien Orifice

    mzh, why do you "wish" for things like a 6 year old?

    September 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • mzh

      @AO:

      I wish you the best in your life...

      September 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      mzh, I am gay.

      September 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  5. Play List

    "Meyrin Fields" by Broken Bells

    September 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Dick Pound

      Your computer has only 3.2 MB of disk space remaining. No gold medal for you.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
  6. Play List

    "Silver Boys" by Broken Bel

    September 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  7. KEVIN

    Why does the Pope keep on getting in the way of our imperialistic practices?

    September 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Money. He has lots of money for traveling about and what not.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • mzh

        Most of the or I would say all of the Christian priest's live by tax payers money...

        What type of money a person needs to earn in order to have a private jet and luxury lives they live?

        September 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
        • Akira

          You are aware that the Roman Catholic religion is world wide, and America is only a fraction of it, correct? And that the priest's salaries are not paid for with US taxes, because we have a separation of chirch and state, yes?

          September 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  8. Apple Bush

    mzh do I have your attention?

    September 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Well no matter, just in case. Just so you know I go by multiple handles:

      Apple Bush
      Ungodly Discipline
      Alien Orifice
      A few minor ones.

      Just so you know who you are talking to bro

      September 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        Alien Orifice is a total dick.

        Apple Bush wants to be a poet

        Ungodly Discipline is pretty much hates all thing religious

        September 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • mzh

        Will try to remembers these nick names bro...

        I only wish good for you... 🙂

        September 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • mzh

      Yes AB,

      You have my full attention...

      September 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      You are so sweet!

      September 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • mzh

        Thanks bro...

        Just to make sure that I am Muslim and I am totally against gay... so we do not misunderstand each other... 🙂

        Peace!!!

        September 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • Apple Bush

        oooooooh mzh, Denial ain't just a river in Egypt honey!

        September 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  9. Lionly Lamb

    The war mongers who wage psychological warfare on natures herbal medicines especially cannabis sativa is a war of pharmacological "drug" manufacturers going up against nature's natural herbal remedies... It's a crying shame that society is so smitten and gullible when many maladies if illnesses affect many folks on the microbial level. Such illnesses like cancer and seizures and diabetes among many other illnesses are nowadays being either held in check or cures thru either the smoking of cannabis sativa or hemp oil... WAKE UP PEOPLE...

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4xejnsLwKE&w=640&h=360]

    September 2, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      The war mongers who wage psychological warfare on natures herbal medicines especially cannabis sativa is a war of pharmacological "drug" manufacturers going up against nature's natural herbal remedies... It's a crying shame that society is so smitten and gullible when many maladies and illnesses affect many folks on the microbial level of which many folks are left in the dark. Such illnesses like cancer and seizures and diabetes among many other illnesses are nowadays being either held in check or cured thru either the smoking of cannabis sativa or the ingesting of hemp oil... WAKE UP PEOPLE...

      September 2, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  10. Lionly Lamb

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-7uwshsfFI&w=640&h=360]

    September 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  11. Gloria

    The Pope is entirely right.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • mzh

      I vote for you Gloria... when it comes to humanity there should not be any color/background/ethnicity...

      May The Almighty reward The Pope and All whoever does good even tiny little things to serve the humanity... amine

      Peace and blessings be upon all of you... 🙂

      September 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • dharma815

      Yeah, the fasting ought to do the trick, I don't see how the confict over Syria can continue after Catholics go without food for 24 hours. Am I dreaming this or is the Pope actually tweeting? This is like a Saturday Night Live skit.

      The need for the Catholic church to catch up with modern times had more to do with changing their stunted ideas, not with tweeting. A tweeted message urging us to fast our way to world peace ????

      Is anyone else laughing at that retarted combination?

      September 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • Doobs

        I agree. Fasting isn't even hard to do when you know you can have anything you want in a few hours.

        If they really wanted to know what it's like to live without food, they'd let someone who doesn't care if they live or die decide when they get their next meal and what it will be.

        September 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Doobs

      Oh, good grief. What did you expect him to say?

      September 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    September 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      You are looking a little pale prayerbot.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  13. Alien Orifice

    God created the universe. Many billions of years ago, a life form evolved on a planet not so far distant and their scientists deduced the building blocks for life existed in the universe and from it, new life forms could be created. These ancient ones populated Mars with life and eventually, due to asteroid events over millions of years, life arrived here on Earth.

    We are a product of that primeval turbulence.

    Therefore, we must worship the Aliens, not God. The Aliens have to worship God. This is all true because I have faith that it happened just this way.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • mzh

      what is it? some kind of fiction AO? I am sure it is...

      🙂

      September 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      No but movies have been filmed with less material! lol

      September 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  14. K-Town

    He could smell her from his position, directly downwind of the Santa Ana’s, the putrid air-born tendril of urine and body odor makes a formidable weapon. Her socks, slung over the tops of her borrowed Converse flaps. Here teeth only a reminder of public service announcements. The hair was everywhere. Not untidy exactly, just….everywhere. Like a blanket over her. She had a pleasing form though. Hard not to look twice. So hard in fact, many had made her their project. Each had failed. For her the addiction was her destiny and would lead to her death. But not today.

    Joe Skinner rarely looked up when he was walking in L.A. Nobody on these streets needed directions or knew where any stars lived. This was Korea Town, the crossroads where Heaven and Hell conduct their business. It was different now. The riots broke the peace and historians were quick to point out that Korea Town was marginalized during the Rodney King Riots of 1992 and it was happening again. Neighborly “hellos” became tense and less friendly. If you want someone to get your back, stay in your part of town. And don’t bother calling 911.

    Joe called 911. The voice on the other end of his “iMate” spoke in hushed tones. Joe laughed. He knew they would have to follow up on any call. If Ryerson shows up, He’s dead. Joe still had friends everywhere in the eight block neighborhood of K-Town. He walked without being disturbed, but only because he understood protocol. K-Town in 2033 was not only unsafe, it was anarchy and there were untouchables.

    That is when he saw it. A photograph. Hard to see in the wet gutter, but the man in the image was beautiful. Long flowing hair that wasn’t messy but practically covered his whole upper section. Skinner reached for it. It sizzled in his fingers and glowed. This was Jesus and he was come unto the Earth to save humans at long last.

    Joe on the other hand really wanted to get baked before work and needed a paper and Jesus was handy. It was wet but they had one of those electric 2025 hand dryers in the rest room of the filling station he stood next to. He blazed, and soon saw Jesus once again. This time Jesus stood before him saying, “I brought unto you a miracle and this is how you betray your lack of awe to the sight of me?

    Joe thought a moment and finally looked at Jesus and said, “You crazy fuck, here, toke up bro!” The party lasted long into the night. Jesus got tore up and the moral of the story is that Marijuana should be legal in the United States.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Apple Chong

      Toke......toke it out man. Yeah my dog ate my stash man. I had to follow him around with a little baggy for three days to get it all back. Really blew the dogs mind.

      September 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  15. Apple Bush

    The grave digs a while, deep enough for you and your flat screen and a few other gadgets. The worshippers believe if you are buried with your valuables you will get to set up a “cloud” in heaven and you can access your music from any of your wireless devices.

    The grave leans on his shovel and thinks for a moment.

    Being older and more knowledgeable, the dirt guru decided to just fill in the hole and quit for the day. The sun burned bright and the pebbles in the grave’s body stung.

    He found some shade and quietly hoped no one would try to bury themselves.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • mzh

      Allahumma rabbi inni aaudhibika minal adhabal kabre wa minal adhaban naar...

      O Allah My Lord, indeed I seek refuge to You from the punishment of grave and the punishment of hell...

      Amine...

      September 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @mzh

      Well I don't know about all that, but beware the grim reaper!

      September 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • mzh

        AB: With respect... this is one of the supplications that I make every moment if I can... as Quran give lots of pictures of hereafter... which has not known or shown to any of us but its like a heads up for the mankind and choice is totally up to us...

        I am not aware of "grim reaper"... could you please use explain with little easy English for me?

        Peace...

        September 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Kate

          mzh, we've been over this before. Just cease your obviously dishonest exhortations of "peace" and your attempts to sell your religion of terror here. Really, we know better.

          September 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          mzh, the grim reaper is free people crushing Islam.

          September 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • mzh

          @ Apple Bush

          I am not sure that I understood what it means... my apologies to you... 😦

          September 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          mzh, FUCKING GOOGLE IT. Jesus.

          September 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • mzh

          AB: 🙂 🙂

          wow sorry if I made you to be what you are... 🙂

          September 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          mzh, are you my real....dad??

          September 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • mzh

          I am your brother in mankind from different mother AB... as you are to me...

          September 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Oh, bummer. You could not have made me what I am then. Ciao.

          September 2, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  16. James

    So following the pope's logic tyrants should not be held to human justice, but allowed to do whatever they want and everyone should be fine because they will face God's judgment. Imagine this world if this were how things were handled.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  17. Exposing the Big Game

    Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game and commented:
    I wish I were a Pope–all I would have to say is "Hunting Never Again! Never Again Hunting!" and three million people would instantly get the message.

    September 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • James

      If a hunter kills an animal and consumes it that animal's meat simply replaces a slaughtered animal's meat. Or are you suggesting that everyone becomes a dirty hippy vegan?

      September 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  18. mzh

    "will face divine judgment" – one can escape from the law of the land by using power in any ways which lots of human does regardless of faith... but no one NO ONE can escape the on that day and there will be no counselor or lawyer r money and or anything to give support but your deeds here in this earthly life...

    After the judgment – human will wish to be dust so that they would not have to go through this accountability.. as any creation other human and jinn has no judgment...

    May The Lord Almighty guide us all in the straight path... amen

    Peace!!!

    September 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Kate

      mzh, we've been over this before. Just cease your obviously dishonest exhortations of "peace" and your attempts to sell your religion of terror here. Really, we know better.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
      • mzh

        Thanks very much Kate... you wouldn't have to buy it...

        I still wish peace and blessings for you... 🙂

        September 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • mzh

        Kate, would you please tell me how did you use 'bold' in your posting and 'italic' as well... I tried but I can't do it in this little text box... I would appreciate it...

        Peace!!!

        September 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          mzh, you start bold text by using the HTML tag for bold and end the bold text section with the HTML end tag for bold. I can't spell them out here (because they get interpreted as bold, and are not displayed), but if you google it, or look at the source of this page to see how I set bold in this message, you'll see how it's done.

          September 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • mzh

          This is test to see BOLD ... and italic as well...

          September 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • mzh

          This is test to see BOLD ... and italic as well...

          September 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
        • mzh

          got it... got it... Thanks so much EnjaySea... it is really appreciated... how nice of you 🙂

          September 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • HTML Instructor

        I tag for ital. and b tag for bold

        hard to show here so use google. You just need opening and closing tags around the words.

        September 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • mzh

          got it... got it... Thanks so much HTML Instructor... it is really appreciated... how nice of you 🙂

          September 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          You are welcome.

          September 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  19. Antonia LaPaz

    I pray for peace in Syria. My friend and many of his shipmates have already called and told me they will go AWOL before they joins forces with Alqaeda like our current president wants them to do.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  20. robert

    Just wondering where are the Islamic leaders who are looking for a peaceful solution? I mean, Islam is a religion of peace is it not?

    September 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Paul

      You'll be the provebial pot calling the kettle black...if you claim Christianity hasn't caused similar violence.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • Responding to the Pride

        We're all responsible for the violence–religious, atheist, agnostic–no one holds a monopoly on war, genocide, domestic violence, street violence–its all there for us to participate, cause (and stop).

        September 3, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.