Pope decries plentitude of weapons, expresses hope in Easter peace wish

Yet a note of cautious hope ran through Francis’ “Urbi et Orbi” message. Speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Square, Francis made his first public comments about the framework accord aimed at ensuring Iran doesn’t develop a nuclear weapon, saying he hopes “it may be a definitive step toward a more secure and fraternal world.”
But Francis also said the world is being subjected to “arms dealers, who earn their living with the blood of men and women.”
He denounced the “absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence” in Libya, where tribal and militia rivalries continue to fuel fighting. He also prayed that “a common desire for peace” would prevail in Yemen and that the “roar of arms may cease” in Syria and Iraq.
He also recalled the young people, many of them targeted because they were Christians, killed last week in a Kenyan university, and lamented kidnappings by Islamic extremists that have plagued parts of Africa, including Nigeria.

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