February 25, 2018 / 11:23 AM / 23 days ago

Pope says Syria being 'martyred', urges humanitarian aid for Ghouta

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Sunday said Syria was being “martyred” by continued attacks killing civilians in the eastern Ghouta district, calling for an immediate end to violence and access to humanitarian aid.

Pope Francis gestures during a news conference on board of the plane during his flight back from a trip to Chile and Peru, January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/Files

“All this is inhuman,” Francis told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly blessing. He spoke hours after the United Nations adopted a resolution demanding a 30-day truce across Syria to allow aid access and medical evacuation.

“In these days my thoughts have often been taken up by the beloved and martyred Syria,” he said, noting there had been thousands of civilian victims of violence that had not spared even hospitals.

“You can’t fight evil with another evil,” he said, asking his listeners to join together in a moment of silent prayer.

Francis called for an immediate end to the violence so food and medicine can get in and the sick and wounded can leave.

Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by John Stonestreet and Dale Hudson

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