Pope Francis prays for Syria
Pope Benedict's resignation
For the Roman Catholic Church, a pope once appointed typically serves for a lifetime (until death). When Pope Benedict resigned citing age and ailing health, it was very unexpected and unprecedented for the world since a pope had not resigned in centuries.
The subsequent leader for the Catholic church became Pope Francis and since his recent appointment, he has truly proven to be a pope for the people.
Hailing from Argentina, Pope Francis formerly Cardinal Bergoglio used to keep a just a small apartment there and ride the city bus. He always stayed among the people of the community.
Selection of the Pope
The smoke high on the rooftops at the Vatican went from gray to white to indicate that for the council of Bishops that had met to deliberate on selecting the new pope, the meeting was adjorned and the new pope was selected.
The public had to wait some time from then for Pope Francis to emerge on the balcony of the Vatican, reveal himself as the new pope and give this speech.
In Rome, Italy, enthusiastic crowds gathered in the rain, standing under umbrellas to watch the momentous event in person. Countless others watched on their television screens.
Everyone loved his down to earth speech as Pope Francis asked the world to pray for him in his immensely responsible position.
A Jesuit, it is said that he chose the name Francis as his Pope name for St. Francis of Assisi and the way the saint stood for kindness to people and animals.
Kindness and Humility
Pope Francis has been much loved from the beginning and his good reputation is only growing as he continues to serve with humility and kindness. A humble servant of God indeed, he is giving voice to the vulnerable, to those in need of peace and humanitarian efforts in the world.
Vigil for Syria
As reported by many news outlets including online news media such as Yahoo!, Pope Francis recently led a vigil in Vatican city to pray for the country Syria. According to reports, over 100,000 people were in attendance at the vigil and even at 76 years old, Pope Francis held up well for the four hour vigil and post activity, long after most had left.
The United States and Humanitarian efforts
Speaking of humanitarian efforts, the United States government has truly been a world leader in providing aid to other nations when needed. Even as a country in great debt, it will muster up resources to lend a hand to others in need with recovery from natural disasters for example.
The USA would help prevent cruel atrocities such as spreading disease, poverty, hunger, dehydration, and more in underserved countries.
Civil unrest in a nation is also a grave issue that the USA would try to prevent.
Saving countries from themselves?
The United States has historically been known to get involved on many occasions when seeing other countries go through political strife and civil unrest. Mostly well intentioned and at times trying to save countries from themselves, the United States government has rarely been able to stand by and hear about other countries immersing themselves in killing their own people, on the brink of civil war.
Sometimes, in a country, war crimes occur because of a dictator (who should be charged for crimes against humanity). The dictator might be responsible for the killings or for suppressing the people's liberties so much that they rebel violently and bring their subsequent demise.
All around the world, there have been periods of war and peace and civil unrest. The severity is often great. Over the more recent years in history, however major or limited our involvement, Americans might be most familiar with the following countries' times of war and unrest because of United States government intervention:
- Sierra Leone
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Conflict in Syria
The situation in Syria is considered to be full blown civil war since 2011 and numerous civilians have died so far. The economy has plummeted with tourism being one of the heavily affected areas. Many (over 40%) in the travel industry have lost jobs. It is a country in great turmoil.
There has also been an alleged chemical weapons attack in the capitol city Damascus, that United States President Barack Obama blames on Syrian leader Assad.
A country that cares about humanitarian efforts, the United States recognizes that a irresponsibly used chemical attack is some of the most inhumane treatment there is. According to President Barack Obama, over 1,400 people were gassed and over 400 of them were children. U.S. intelligence reports that Sarin gas was used.
Once again the U.S. government is recognizing a need to intervene and 'save a country from itself' or perhaps its dictator?
Tired of going to war
The American people are nevertheless mostly fed up and do not want our country to be taken into another war. The question has been, Should President Barack Obama order the bombing of (a military strike on) Syria? The response has been a resounding no from many countless Americans. Demonstrations have occurred to express their displeasure and Obama is aware of the sentiment. He has insists that he considers his job to be to end wars not to start them but the USA can not stand aside blindly while these terrible events have been unfolding in Syria.
If you are an American reading this question, can you accept the possibility of an American military strike on Syria?
Praying for Syria
While Pope Francis was clear that the recent vigil he led was a religious one and not a political one, there is a natural overlap when praying for peace.
Inflicting war is not the answer to ending violence. It will only cause more death.
Pope Francis asks that all Catholics, people of other Christian denominations and all our brothers and sisters of other faiths come together to pray for peace in Syria.