Pope Francis calls for an immediate ceasefire in Syria to evacuate children.

In the wake of the heavy offensive Russian aircrafts have carried out on Syria, Pope Francis has called for a ceasefire with a sense of “urgency.” The pope has expressed his sorrow over the effects of the war on innocent civilians and has urged leaders to stop the violence. The appeal from Pope Francis came during his weekly general audience on October 12. The pontiff also took the opportunity to say his thoughts and prayers are always with the victims of the inhumane carnage being carried out in Syria.

The pope has urged leaders to immediately bring a ceasefire to effect, at least until all the civilians, especially the children are evacuated. Pope Francis observed that a lot of children are still trapped in the country and are living in the constant danger of getting killed in the fire. As such, he makes his appeal with “a sense of urgency,” imploring “with all his strength” to put at least a temporary halt on the firing.

The war is one of the worst tragedies to have hit humanity. As of now, an estimated 500,000 Syrians may have lost their lives in the civil war. Almost 5 million are now homeless refugees. A far greater number are left otherwise displaced. Although a ceasefire was brokered by the U.S. and Russia after a call for a truce by the UN, less than a week later a strike on a Syrian position restarted the conflict. The conflict has only worsened, with hundreds of airstrikes destroying Aleppo. All attempts at calling for a ceasefire and diplomatic talks have failed so far.

The Catholic umbrella organization for all Catholic charities around the world has disclosed that around 275,000 Syrians are facing “intensified daily bombardment” in the city of Aleppo. Around 100,000 of those who are trapped in rebel-controlled areas are children.

Pope Francis reminded the gathering it is in difficult moments like these the need for “corporal acts of mercy” is felt. He added, it is not necessarily in great things that we can show love and mercy, but in simple deeds. The pope has urged people to bring about a “cultural revolution” by engaging in small deeds of mercy.

The Pope recently named the Archbishop Mario Zenari, as a cardinal. He took this historic move to show concern for the “beloved and martyred Syria.”

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