Pope Tweets Against Syria Strike, Writes Putin, Plans Saturday Vigil

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Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

Pope Francis greets Catholic faithful during his arrival at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, July 25, 2013.

Update, Sept. 7, 3:37pm EST: Pope Francis spoke out this evening in St. Peter’s Square against an attack in Syria. For the full story, click here

Pope Francis has written a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, host of the G-20 summit that President Obama is attending, urging world leaders to oppose a military intervention in Syria.

“To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution,” the Pope urged. “Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community.”

(WATCH LIVE: Pope Francis’s Vigil for Peace in Syria)

The move is the latest in a series of efforts by the Holy See to prevent military action in the already civil-war torn region. On Sunday, the Pope declared in his Angelus teaching that Saturday Sept. 7 would be a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. The prayer rally will take place in St. Peter’s Square from 7 p.m. to midnight, on the vigil of the birth of Mary, the Queen of Peace. “Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love,” the Pope asked people around the world. “She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children!”

Next Pope Francis took his views on Syria to Twitter. On Monday he tweeted, “War never again! Never again war!” and “How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake.” On Tuesday, he tweeted “We want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict, that peace break out!” and “With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons.” Today his social media message was, “With all my strength, I ask each party in the conflict not to close themselves in solely on their own interests. #prayforpeace.”

Cardinal Dolan and leaders of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops followed the Pope’s lead and wrote to every member of Congress today urging them to vote against military intervention in Syria. Yesterday the USCCB also wrote to President Obama, reminding him that the Pope and Middle Eastern Bishops “have made it clear that a military attack will be counterproductive, will exacerbate an already deadly situation, and will have unintended negative consequences.” Dolan also asked Catholics to urge their representatives in Washington to vote against a military strike.

The Vatican, which almost always stops short of taking sides in international issues, historically holds to just war theory, which requires a military defense meet a set of strict qualifications, including that “the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain,” “all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective,” and “the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.”

Pope Francis’ response to Syria is in line with how his predecessors handled international conflicts. Pope Benedict XVI expressed concerns over the military intervention in Libya. Pope John Paul II continually and strongly spoke out against the US-led war in Iraq. The US and the Vatican squared off during the 1989 Panama invasion when dictator Manuel Noriega took refuge in the Vatican embassy.

U.S. seals tried to blast Noriega out with deafening levels of rock music and only stopped the “rock-‘n’-roll offensive,” as TIME called it, after the Vatican complained to President George HW Bush. Pope John Paul II kept quiet on the crisis, and left it to the hands of Vatican officials.

825 comments
gchewie
gchewie

@ShoebridgeC abandonment of the Eastern Church by Western Church again. Churches burning, forced conversion not worth calling out it seems.

JoeThePimpernel
JoeThePimpernel

The Community-Organizer-in-Chief gets out-community-organized.

raikku06
raikku06

@TIME @TIMEPolitics Great that the Pope uses his method, everyone should use their own methods to stop people suffering in Syria

OldtimerUSN
OldtimerUSN

The Pope had better watch it before he knows it Obamas SS troops will have NSA, Homeland Security, IRS, FBI, ATF and the Muslim Brotherhood on him like a fat Girl in a Truck load of Twinkie's. That's a FACT

GuyDaley
GuyDaley

The Pope versus the Military Industrial Complex?  No contest

Fran13245
Fran13245

They are on page 43 right now

woodsaddition
woodsaddition

Since Obama declared that the USA is no longer a nation built on  a Judeo-Christian foundation, that  assertion must be the explanation  behind the president's reticence to speak out against the Christians massacres in Egypt and elsewhere in the middle east.  However,  when muslims poison/gas muslims that is a matter that requires military intervention at all costs!

Fran13245
Fran13245

Our Lady loves the Pope and God loves this Pope!!!

pjohnsonmarsh
pjohnsonmarsh

Two hands really doing something here would be 100% more effective than two million hands clasped in prayer. Why is that so difficult to accept?

Maria-ErlindaMartinez
Maria-ErlindaMartinez

Hurrah!!! Hurrah!! Mr. Pope; obama must be stopped --lawfully and peacefully-- from causing the mass-slaughter he wants to unleash in Syria, as he did in the other "Arab Springs" he created: Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood and Libya under mayhem and chaos by al-Qaida local franchises. Furthermore, he wants our daughters and sons die for him, for what he really pursues is to distract us, We the People from the issues that really matter.

America has not prominent geopolitical interests in Syria, not, either, moral or ethical ones, for, murdering themselves is part of the religious creed and idiosyncrasy of Muslims, particularly Islamist ones. America must stay out of Syria. What has enormous importance to America is: 1)- Stop Amnesty to illegal aliens; 2)- Defund Obamacare; 3) Uncover the whole truth of all about Benghazi; 4)- Uncover the whole truth of all about the IRS persecution on the Tea Party Movement and its member organizations and individuals, particularly grassroots-conservatives; 5)- Uncover the whole truth of all about the NSA spying on Americans; 6)-Uncover the whole truth of all about Fast and Furious; and 7)- Uncover the whole truth of all about the massive accumulation of military materiel by his Department of Homeland Security.



Channah
Channah

There are too many long, long comments to follow.  Who wants to take the time to read them.  If you cannot express your feelings in a few words, you must have trouble expressing what is dumb.  Keep it plain and simple if you want people to read you.

Channah
Channah

And, he really thinks this will do some good?  Talk about a fantasy world he lives in!!

JeffSwanson11
JeffSwanson11

@TIME @TIMEPolitics can't believe we didn't think of this..ok never mind Obama.the Pope handled it for you. Assad just needed payers to stop

Rez
Rez

When the Pope Speaks over One Billion listen … appears things are not looking good ... sort of embarrassing even.

BLUF...as I said a few days ago "no matter what we do at this point in time this endeavor is going to leave a scar."

Marine Corps General Mattis is known for his controversial quotes once told a reporter that it was “fun to shoot some people,” and that his Marines should always “have a plan to kill ... even in peace time, I'll find someone for our boys to kill out there." Just in case you're wondering, the good general was referring to killing "Evil People"...people that just want to kill others because "They are Just Plain Evil"!   Unfortunately, but "Evil People" are growing exponentially and are dispersed globally but like ants you can't really ever kill them all ... best you can do is to merely "displace" them.

In my mind and my mind only … this fighting/crises in the Muslim Arab world is very elementary and has gone on for thousands of years and there is NO INTERNATIONAL LAW or INTERNATIONAL BODY that is going to change that mindset. It didn't work in Iraq and certainly has not and will not in Afghanistan--except perhaps for the few Iraqis and Afghans that were afforded US Citizenship and allowed to leave their homelands.

Therefore at the end of the day, Right, Wrong or Indifferent, only a Muslim can kill a Muslim and it be “generally acceptable” but should this deplorable act come from the hands of a Non-Muslim and all of a sudden the cries for vengeance and justice are heightened.

One certainty I think we have all learned about the Muslim World since 9-11 is that they hate each other, but when someone butts their Non-Muslim nose into their business, their estranged relationships surprisingly take on a re-newed united front and Muslims turn on the outsiders. That noted, my concern is that if Non-Muslims get involved in Syria (especially America) then we can be fairly certain to have war (globally) for the rest of our lives.

America should let Muslims handle this situation as only a “Muslim solution to a Muslim problem can be halfway meaningful and perhaps acceptable” ... follows the American Civil War Model where America had to settle its own problem in order to move forward. ”

sonoli13
sonoli13

@TIME @TIMEPolitics I hope the vigil gets results. Wonder if Kerry Hollande and Catholic convert Blair will join in?

valedenina
valedenina

@TIME @TIMEPolitics I live by the Vatican: from the noise I heard all day, more than a vigil it was a big time rock concert!!!

PhillyCannabis
PhillyCannabis

Ugh. Why would anyone listen to this guy? He walks around in clown outfit. Religion is just a business. 

JohnFromCranber
JohnFromCranber

@PatrioticSpirit The above was just a stmt of what I consider fact - a US stand down won't stop loss of Syrian life. I am DEFINATELY for a

AmericanEagle1392
AmericanEagle1392

@Fran13245 - what was this Pope and his predecessors doing while 100,000 Syrians were being killed, not to mention countless Egyptians, Libyans, Sudanese, Congolese, Nigerians, etc.?  Now, when the Obungler wakes up from "leading from behind" and talks about stopping one massacre, suddenly the Pope is concerned?  What the heck is the Vatican doing with all the moral authority it assumes?

Obama_dogeater
Obama_dogeater

@Channah Obama's cluelessness and arrogance has the world on the brink of war. That's all that needs to be said.

AmericanEagle1392
AmericanEagle1392

@shahrezsyed@TIME@TIMEPoliticsYou do?  What was this Pope and his predecessors doing while 100,000 Syrians were being killed, not to mention countless Egyptians, Libyans, Sudanese, Congolese, Nigerians, etc.?  Now, when the Obungler wakes up from "leading from behind" and talks about stopping one massacre, suddenly the Pope is concerned?  What the heck is the Vatican doing with all the moral authority it assumes?


woodsaddition
woodsaddition

@PhillyCannabis

Do you  have: 

  • Problems with memory and learning?
  • Distorted perception?
  • Difficulty with thinking and problem solving?
  • Loss of coordination?
  • Increased heart rate?
  • Anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks?
  •   You do? 
  •      It figures.