“YouI commend myself to the pain of the people of Sri Lanka, who continue to suffer the effects of political and economic instability,” the head of the Catholic Church said after the Sunday Angelus prayer, adding, “Together with the bishops of the country, I renew my call for peace and I implore those responsible not to ignore the cry of the poor and the needs of the people”.
The popular uprising in Sri Lanka led to the flight of the Asian country’s president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, before his palace in Colombo was stormed by protesters. Rajapaksa then announced he would step down on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has already tendered his resignation and seen his private residence burnt down.
The country is plunged into one of the worst economic crises since independence in 1948, resulting from declining foreign exchange reserves and high external debt.
Francis also called on “God to show the way to end the madness of war” in Ukraine. The Pope renewed his closeness to the Ukrainian people “daily tormented by brutal attacks” and underlined the prayer “for all families, especially for the victims, the wounded, the sick, the elderly and the children”.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Relations Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher has not ruled out that Pope Francis may visit Ukraine in August, depending on how he will feel upon returning from Canada, where Francis will be the last week of July. .
In an interview with Italian public television RAI, the Holy See’s representative for foreign relations assured that the Pope “is very convinced that if he could make this visit, it could have positive results”, noting that the Pope has always shown “his willingness to go to Ukraine and Moscow to meet the Russian authorities”.
Finally, the Sovereign Pontiff expressed his wish that “convincing solutions” be found to the current situation in Libya with the support of the international community, recalling “the Libyan people and in particular the young people and all those who suffer because of the serious social and economic problems of the country”.
Last Thursday, the two rival Libyan institutions, meeting in Geneva under the aegis of the United Nations (UN), could not reach an agreement to organize elections due to disagreements on the eligibility of candidates to the presidency.
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