Pope Francis Writes Putin:Submitted by Puma for Life on Thu, 09/05/2013 - 12:38
In a letter Thursday to the G-20 host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Francis lamented that "one-sided interests" had prevailed in Syria, preventing a diplomatic end to the conflict and allowing the continued "senseless massacre" of innocents.
"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," Francis wrote as the G-20 meeting got under way in St. Petersburg.
Francis has ratcheted up his call for peace in Syria amid threatened U.S.-led military strikes following an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus.
On Wednesday, the head of Francis' Jesuit order, the Rev. Adolfo Nicolas, told a Catholic news agency that military action by the U.S. and France would be an "abuse of power."
"I cannot understand who gave the United States or France the right to act against a country in a way that will certainly increase the suffering of the citizens of that country, who, by the way, have already suffered beyond measure," he was quoted as saying in the interview, the text of which was released by a Vatican-affiliated spokesman.