Vatican City, Oct 23, 2016 / 05:24 am
With the Iraqi Army currently embroiled in an effort to liberate Mosul and the Plains of Nineveh from the Islamic State, Pope Francis Sunday offered prayers for an end to violence in the country so it can move forward on the path of hope and reconciliation.
"In these dramatic hours, I am close to the people of Iraq, in particular those from the city of Mosul," the Pope said Oct. 23.
"Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that for too long are being committed against innocent citizens, whether they are Muslims, Christians or whether they belong to other ethnic groups and religions," he said, and voiced his sadness that many have been killed "in cold blood," including children.
This cruelty "makes us cry, leaving us without words," he said, assuring of his prayers that despite it's suffering, Iraq "may be strong and firm in the hope of moving toward a future of security, reconciliation and of peace."