Pope Francis calls for immediate cease-fire in Syria

VATICAN CITY, Pope Francis called for an immediate cease-fire in Syria, renewing an appeal for peace during his weekly general audience Wednesday.

Pope Francis waves to faithful as he arrives in Saint Peter’s Square on October 12, 2016. In his weekly general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis called for an immediate cease-fire in Syria to allow civilians to evacuate. Photo by Claudio Peri/pa

“I want to emphasize and reiterate my closeness to all victims of the inhuman conflict in Syria. With a sense of urgency, I renew my appeal, pleading, with all my strength. [May] those responsible ensure arrangements are made for an immediate cease-fire, which is imposed and respected at least for the time necessary to allow the evacuation of civilians, especially children, who are still trapped under the bloody bombing,” he said.

His remarks regarding Syria came at the conclusion of an address concentrating on physical and spiritual examples of mercy and how those works can change the world.

“The works of mercy awaken in us the need and the ability to make a living and active faith with charity. I am convinced that these simple everyday actions can make a real cultural revolution, as it was in the past,” the pope said.

His comments on Syria came as Russian-supported government airstrikes resumedin Aleppo, Syria, following a short halt in bombings to allow civilians to escape rebel-held sections of the city.

By Ed Adamczyk