– Catholic Herald, Rome – Pope Francis issued an appeal for peace and reconciliation in the United States of America on Sunday, calling on citizens and government leaders alike to lower the temperature of public discourse and otherwise create the conditions necessary for a “national reconciliation” in the wake of deadly riots at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
Goaded by outgoing US President Donald J. Trump and his lieutenants — including Trump’s attorney, former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani — hundreds of protestors loyal to Trump forced their way into the US Capitol building on Wednesday of last week, and disrupted a joint session of Congress convened to certify the results of the recent US presidential election, which Trump lost.
Five people died as a result of the violent disorder, including a US Capitol Police officer, 42-year-old Brian D. Sicknick, a twelve-year veteran of the force.
“I urge [government] authorities and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibility,” Pope Francis said Sunday, “in order to soothe tempers, promote national reconciliation, and protect the democratic values rooted in American society.”
“Violence,”Said Pope Francis, “is always self-destructive.”
“Nothing is gained by violence ,” Pope Francis went on to say, “and so much is lost.”
Pope Francis made his remarks after leading the faithful in reciting the Angelus prayer – the traditional act of Marian devotion – which was carried via radio, television and internet live stream.
The pope concluded his appeal with an invocation of Our Lady, Patroness of the United States of America: “To help keep alive the culture of encounter, the culture of care, as the way to build the common good together, and do so with all those who live in that country.”