Pope Francis addresses Easter Mass, appeals for immediate cease-fire in Gaza

Vatican City: Pope Francis called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the release of Israeli prisoners during his Easter Sunday Mass.

In a message to followers and the world, Pope Francis called for a cease-fire during a speech on the Christian religious day of Easter at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vientiane City, Reuters reported.

Pope Francis, the 87-year-old spiritual leader of Christianity, has limited attendance at Masses in recent weeks due to illness and did not even speak on Good Friday.

Pope Francis took part in the Easter celebrations and after the liturgy came to a gathering of followers in St. Peter’s Square, which according to the Vatican was about 60,000 people.

Speaking on the ongoing war in Gaza, Pope Francis expressed deep sorrow at the loss of human lives and reiterated his call for a ceasefire.

He said that I once again appeal to ensure the access of humanitarian aid to Gaza and the release of the Israelis arrested on October 7 and an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Pope Francis said that how long will we continue to see the children of Gaza suffering, the children in these war zones have forgotten to smile, the question in the eyes of these children is why all these deaths are happening, why all this destruction. As it happens, war is always futile and losing.

In his Easter address, Pope Francis addressed world affairs in a traditional way, mentioning areas of tension in Ukraine, Syria, Lebanon, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Haiti, Myanmar, Sudan, African countries, Congo and Mozambique.

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