Pope Francis said Sunday that he has prayed for those who died in the riots in the United States Capitol and asked for rest in the United States to uphold the democratic values of that nation.
During his traditional Sunday lunchtime remarks at the Vatican, Francis noted that five people had died when a mob stormed through the building where Congress met on January 6th. This meeting should confirm the election victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
“Violence is always self-destructive,” said Francis. He appealed to the leaders to calm souls to prevent further violence.
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A mob stormed the Capitol after US President Donald Trump urged a rally of supporters to go to the building and “fight like hell” to protest his loss in the US presidential election in November, of which he was without factual basis claims that they were “stolen”.
One Capitol police officer and four others died in the riot.
“I greet the people of the United States warmly, shaken by the recent siege of Congress,” said the Pope in remarks from the Apostolic Palace instead of a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square due to the pandemic. “I pray for those who lost their lives in these dramatic moments, five (people).”
“Nothing is gained by force and so much is lost,” he said.
“I urge the state authorities and the general population to maintain a high sense of responsibility to calm souls, promote national reconciliation, and uphold the democratic values ingrained in American society,” said Francis.
He then prayed to the Virgin Mary, patron saint of the Church in the United States, to “help keep alive the culture of encounter and the culture of caring to assemble the common good in superior ways” with “all those in it live this land. “
In separate comments on a private Italian television station due to air on Sunday evening, Francis expressed surprise at the mob’s attack. In this interview with Mediasets Channel 5, he said: “In the most mature reality there is always something that doesn’t work, people who take a path against the community, against democracy and against the common good.”