Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, made a plea for world peace while marking the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
The pope’s comments, made during his weekly Angelus address in St Peter’s Square, were made particularly in reference to the conflicts in Gaza, Iraq and the Ukraine.
“That conflict [World War I]…ended up, after four long years, in an utterly fragile peace. Tomorrow will be a day of mourning as we all recall that tragedy…in the hope that the errors of the past are never repeated.
“Today, my thoughts turn to three areas of crisis, in particular – the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine. I ask you to continue to pray with me so that the good Lord will concede to the peoples and authorities of those regions the wisdom and the strength necessary to move ahead on the path of peace… Let us remember that, with war, all is lost whilst with peace, nothing is lost.
“Sisters and brothers, never let there be war. Never war. I am thinking above all of the children who have been deprived of the hope of a decent life, a worthy future: dead children, injured children, mutilated children, orphans, children who play amongst left-over war weapons, children who do not know how to smile. Please stop. I ask you with all my heart. The time has come to stop. Please stop.”