Pope Francis has offered prayers for the people of the United States “shaken by the recent siege on Congress” and prayed for the five people who lost their lives “in those dramatic moments” when protesters stormed the Capitol on 6thJanuary.
Remarking on the events after reciting the Angelus prayer on 10th January, the pope insisted that “violence is always self-destructive. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.”
The pope urged government leaders “and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibility in order to soothe tempers, promote national reconciliation and protect the democratic values rooted in American society.”
And he prayed that “Mary Immaculate, patroness of the United States of America,” would “help keep alive the culture of encounter, the culture of caring, as the way to build together the common good; and may she do so with all who live in that land.”
Pope Francis’ remarks came one day after the release of clips of an interview in which he said he was “astonished” by the violent breach of the US Capitol, especially because the people of the United States are “so disciplined in democracy.”
The interview with Italy’s Canale 5 was scheduled for broadcast on 10th January, but some clips were aired on 9thJanuary.
Violence, he told the interviewer, must always be condemned, but it also is true that in even the most “mature” societies, there are violent minorities, “people taking a path against the community, against democracy, against the common good.”
“But thank God this erupted and people could see it well. That way it can be remedied,” he said.
“No nation can brag about never having a case of violence – it happens,” he said. “We must understand it, so it is not repeated – learn from history, right?”
Picture: Law enforcement officers push back against supporters of President Donald Trump attempting to enter the US Capitol in Washington on 6th January 2020, during a protest against the certification of the 2020 presidential election. (CNS photo/Jim Urquhart, Reuters).