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Pope backs global ceasefire resolution

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Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass marking the feast of Sts Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican June 29, 2020. He has commended the UN Security Council for its global ceasefire resolution so countries can fight the pandemic. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring

Implementation of UN resolution would be “courageous”

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis applauded the United Nations Security Council on Sunday for its recent resolution calling for an immediate global ceasefire amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The call for a global and immediate ceasefire, which would allow the peace and security necessary to provide the urgently needed humanitarian assistance, is commendable,” Pope Francis said after his Angelus prayer on 5 July.

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“I hope that this decision will be implemented effectively and promptly for the good of many people who are suffering. May this Security Council resolution become a courageous first step towards a peaceful future,” he said.

The ceasefire resolution applies to conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Libya, South Sudan, and Congo, according to the Associated Press. It demands “a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days” to ensure that medical and humanitarian aid will reach those in need as the coronavirus continues to spread.

The 15 countries that make up the Security Council passed the resolution on 1 July after months of disagreement between China and the United States over whether the text would include references to either the World Health Organization or “transparency”.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres first called for a global ceasefire on 23 March with Pope Francis echoing this appeal the following week.

The UN Secretary General said that a global ceasefire would “help create corridors for life-saving aid” and “bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19”. He pointed out that refugee camps and people with existing health conditions are most at risk of suffering “devastating losses”.

On March 29, Pope Francis said: “Conflicts are not resolved through war”. He added that conflicts must be overcome through “dialogue and a constructive search for peace”.

The pope said in his Angelus address on 5 July that Jesus offers “the weary and oppressed” much more than “psychological solace or a lavish handout”.

“The joy that Jesus gives us. It is unique. It is the joy that he himself has,” he said.

“The world exalts those who are rich and powerful, no matter by what means, and at times tramples upon the human being and his or her dignity. And we see this every day, the poor who are trampled underfoot,” Pope Francis said. “And it is a message for the Church, called to live works of mercy and to evangelise the poor, to be meek and humble. This is how the Lord wants His Church, that is, us, to be.”

Pope Francis said that Jesus placed himself among “those who labour and are burdened” because he was “meek and humble of heart”.

“May Mary, the humblest and highest of creatures, implore from God wisdom of the heart for us … that we may discern its signs in our lives and be sharers in those mysteries which, hidden from the proud, are revealed to the humble,” the pope said.

This story first appeared at Catholic News Agency.

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