Pope Francis Prays For Capitol Dead, Pleads For Calm

The Associated Press reports:

Pope Francis said Sunday that he is praying for those who died in the U.S. Capitol rioting and has appealed for calm to prevail in the United States to help safeguard that nation’s democratic values.

During his traditional Sunday noon remarks at the Vatican, Francis noted that five persons had died when a mob stormed through the building where Congress was meeting on Jan. 6. That meeting was to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

“Violence is always self-destructive,” Francis said. He appealed to a “high sense of responsibility” by leaders to “calm souls” to prevent further violence.

Reuters reports:

“I offer an affectionate greeting to the people of the United States, shaken by the recent siege of Congress,” the pope said in remarks delivered from inside the Apostolic Palace, instead of from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square due to the pandemic. “I pray for those who lost their lives, five (persons), in those dramatic moments.”

“Nothing is gained with violence and so much is lost,” he said “I exhort the authorities of the state and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibility with the aim of calming souls, promoting national reconciliation and safeguarding the democratic values rooted in American society,” Francis said.