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

    A Cancer Cure 40 years ago


    September 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      This guy is a genetic quack... His way to treat cancers if with pee byproducts and his percentages are not even worth the treatment which is years compared to hemp oils.... I am so sorry that I posted it...

      September 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  2. HotAirAce

    BFD! When is the RCC's head charlatan going to release all information about priestly pedophilia and the criminals continuing to cover up child abuse? What is the current Pope-A-Dope hiding?

    September 3, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  3. Lionly Lamb

    Cannabidiol CBD Extract Stops Epileptic Seizures caused by Dravet


    September 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  4. Lionly Lamb

    Charlotte's Web – CBD for Epilepsy


    September 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  5. Lionly Lamb

    Cannabinoid Profiles – THC, THCA, THCV, CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC


    September 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  6. CNNY

    In future news, nothing will happen on this blog.

    September 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  7. CommonSensed

    In other news the Pope uses a condom in a chemical weapon attack on Syria.

    September 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  8. HeavenSent

    My Lored save these athiests from erectile damnation!

    September 3, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Dippy

      Atheist, not athiest.

      September 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  9. Lionly Lamb

    I can see a day and time when the cannabis sativa plants will be farmed just like other crops are now being farmed... Their THC potency will be near zero... Such crops will be used for the building trades ensuring that the woodlands will no longer needed to be harvested... I can also see that the inner pulp of the hemp plant can be used creating ethanol and all oil based products from nylon to lipstick to even plastics... Farmers could also use this hemp to feed their livestock... The people who fear that hemp fields would be for people to get high is a misnomer because it takes THC and these farmed fields of hemp would not have a high enough percentage of THC for anyone to get high from...

    September 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • Lionly Lamb

      Does this mean there should not be grown cannabis plants with high THC levels? According to scientific understandings THC levels in varying strengths could be medicinally beneficial if used under medical supervision. Hemp oil has an unscientifically proven ability to cure most all forms of cancer from brain cancer to lymphatic cancers and this oils effects to help cure 3rd degree burn victims... Epileptics and Alzheimer's diseases are currently being studied in places around the world... Of all the potential benefits for the cannabis sativa plants it seems that hemp oils should be evaluated for their curative potentials...

      September 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  10. 7

    Hello folks. Everyone is invited to receive a free Christian song download at – thetreasureofzion.com

    September 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Only if you have Stryper

      September 3, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • BBB

      Hello folks. Everyone is invited to receive a free shot of Silver at The Belief Blog Bistro!

      September 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
  11. Billy Joe

    There will my Mary Jane! And Freedom! March on people, march on.

    September 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  12. Lionly Lamb

    Hemp Fuel VS. Corn Fuel


    September 3, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  13. Lionly Lamb

    John Kerry along with every governing official here within the USA should not avail themselves toward our country being the world's peace officers by and thru socialized bling toward getting the general populace to want war... Though the vast majority of citizenry does remain silent it does not give federalized governments the rights to be the world's war mongers whenever another country is divided with their own governances... Just because we have the better tomahawks does not give us the rights to use them whenever and wherever we see fit by our federal governments willful wanton use...

    September 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • spam filter

      Aww – oh I always get a little misty-eyed when I see a long-lost child (asd234) finally locating their parent (Lionly).

      September 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
  14. Lionly Lamb

    Is the RCC against the production of cannabis sativa for industrial and medicinal uses..?

    September 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Probably not. The Church is generally in support of the proper stewardship of natural resources. What they would caution against though is the continuation of a culture of intoxication and sensory distortion by inebriation.

      September 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Sired B Deacon...

        Is not the natural resources of hemp for industrial uses such as textiles and all manner of lumber now being used could be replaced by the natural resources by farming hemp..? Truly, I am against all mannerisms of fossilized oils which can be reduced by the natural resources of hemp oils. I am also against our uses of trees for lumber needs when such needs can be completely replaced by the natural resources of our farming the hemp plants...

        Bill Deacon...

        You fail to see the overall benefits of farming hemp instead of growing cotton and the cutting down of trees... One acre of hemp can yield three or four crops in a years time which in turn can lesson the needs for cutting down all manner of trees. The same can be said for cotton vs. hemp...

        The Power of Hemp and its countless uses


        September 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        I understand your case. You asked if the Catholic Church opposed it and I answered probably not. If you think hemp is the be all end all then I think you should grow some.

        September 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Or become a Rastafarian and get stoned for Christ!

          September 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sire Bill D.

          I'm 58 and on a fixed income... I am writing and posting about cannabis sativa and its many industrial uses along with its medicinal benefits... I live in Florida which may become the USA's last holdout for the industrial and medicinal uses of cannabis... If farmers were legally allowed to grow hemp here in the USA, it would be an economic boom to our nation's current economic woes we are currently entrenched in... The businesses that cannabis would give rise to far outweigh its recreational uses... Textiles made from the cannabis stalks and oils made from its center for gas additives replacing corn based ethanol would benefit our national economy... Cannabis could also be used for our livestock's feed source making livestock feed cheaper and be much healthier for the livestock industries... Medicinal hemp oils would be far superior for fighting all cancers and also to treat burn victims... But alas, many people have become too afraid of cannabis sativa getting into the children's hands and they stand up for our nation's drug war which by the way is a miserable failure...


          LEAP stands for law enforcement against prohibition of all drugs in order to get them away from today's dealers who don't care about how old one is...


          September 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        • Bill Deacon

          I understand, but the world is full of people with better ideas that they think someone else should pour money time and energy into. If you think there's a future in hemp, or salad bars or electric cars, I say go for it. But stop trying to get someone else, usually the American tax payer, to fund your notions.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Geraldine Tesla

          There actually can be a very good case for government to invest in desirable industries, and that has often happened. There is always risk and uncertain outcome, and often the risk is more than the conventional business investment types can handle. If the potential benefit to society is there, sometimes the government investment is a good one. It is stupid to categorically rule out government action.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • ME II

          @Bill Deacon,
          Well said.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
        • Deano

          Let me guess, you are in a socialist state, or Daddy was.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        • HeavenSense

          No one here ever accused Billy D of being smart.

          September 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Silly Billy...

          Around 17 states in the US has legalized cannabis sativa for medicinal uses and 2 states for recreational use... Now all the rest of the states need to consider legalizing cannabis to to farmed in order to supply all the potential uses in the building and textile industries and for replacing corn breed ethanol with hemp made ethanol...

          September 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb


          September 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Now all the rest of the states need to consider legalizing cannabis to be farmed in order to supply all the potential uses in the building and textile industries and for replacing corn bred ethanol with hemp made ethanol...

        September 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          After all, they have the seeds already made which will yield low to nearly zero THC levels making the cannabis plant an ideal farming crop...

          September 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • Brother Maynard

          Being an individual that lives in one of the states that has legalized it, recreationally on the state level ... I hope that other states do NOT do the same. There is a huge market for recreational use and we can reap the benifits of the vacationing user.

          September 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
        • Brother Maynard

          Oops ... just reread your post ... you're talking strickly HEMP so recreational vacationers really don't apply

          September 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired Brother Maynard...

          My being unable to take leave and visit our 2 states that have legalized cannabis sativa for recreational use leaves me with an emptiness for my wanting to relive the old times... SOS John Kerry and all the president's henchmen are most likely going to create a war of all wars... Russia has put some of their warships close to ours near Syria and the Russians are sending an anti-missile submarine to the region... China and Russia made their voices heard in the U.N. and this president of ours will become the scapegoat for WWIII...

          September 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  15. Apple Bush

    Finally it was said and all who heard groaned and bemoaned their sentence for life on Earth would now be a paradise.

    September 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  16. Lionly Lamb

    The Power of Hemp and its countless uses


    September 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  17. Brother Maynard

    "However, the pope also said that people who use chemical weapons – as the Syrian government has been accused of doing – will face divine judgement."
    Other wise known as a Cruise Missle.

    September 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  18. Lionly Lamb

    Nationalized warfare is unwarranted genocide upon the masses who are not fed with nationalistic interests .. Just as any nation establishing a war upon the cannabis trades are firmly entrenched in the oil and lumber industries and pharmacological businesses wrongly held practices wherein cannabis farms would be of such uses to any nations nationalized economic outlooks that such farming practices would be so very beneficial to any nation's economic outlook...

    September 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Pete

      How do you think hemp would impact religion? I would say unless everyone was smoking it, religions will continue to be as bloody divisive as ever. Accent, in this case, on bloody.

      September 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Religions are not the problem... The elderly religious are just that, old and antiquated and outdated...

        September 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  19. Lionly Lamb

    1-step spring harvest of industrial hemp


    September 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Putin

      Lionly, whatever happened to that 'lettuce love' that you had going?

      September 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • Doodles

        "Lettuce" love probably evolved into "Hemp" love, eh, Lionly! 😉

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

          We say, bring back the lettuce love!!!

          September 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        You mean...

        Let us love
        Lettuce love
        Love lettuce
        Love let us

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

          Right!!!! Don't give up on your "lettuce" love!

          Hemp might be a good distraction for ya but in the long run lettuce is more stable and reliable!

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

          But tastes awful when you try to smoke it.

          September 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    look behind the pope in the picture ... is that Christian throwing their child from the balcony?

    September 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Akira

      I'll admit. I laughed.

      September 3, 2013 at 4:37 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.