Pope Tweets Against Syria Strike, Writes Putin, Plans Saturday Vigil

Pope Francis has written a  letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, host of the  G-20 summit that President Obama is attending, urging world leaders to oppose a  military intervention in Syria.

“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,” the Pope urged. “Rather, let there  be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful  solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported  by the international community.”

The move is the latest in a series of efforts by the Holy See to prevent  military action in the already civil-war torn region. On Sunday, the Pope  declared in his Angelus teaching that Saturday Sept. 7 would be an day of  fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. The prayer rally will take place in St.  Peter’s Square from 7 p.m. to midnight, on the vigil of the birth of Mary, the  Queen of Peace. “Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict  and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love,” the Pope asked people  around the world. “She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us  are her children!”

Next Pope Francis took his views on Syria to Twitter. On Monday he tweeted,  “War never again! Never again war!” and “How much suffering, how much  devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake.”

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