RELIGION

Pope Francis Begs For An End To War On 100th Anniversary Of WWI

Pope Francis celebrates a mass in Caserta, Italy, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Francis made a late-afternoon visit Saturday to Ca
Pope Francis celebrates a mass in Caserta, Italy, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Francis made a late-afternoon visit Saturday to Caserta, the main town in the turf of the Casalesi crime clan of the Naples-area Camorra syndicate. During his homily outside the 18th-century Reggia palace, Caserta's main tourist attraction, Francis drew applause when he urged his flock to have "the courage to say no to every form of corruption and lawlessness." (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I with an impassioned plea for people to "not repeat the mistakes of the past," urging them to embrace dialogue to overcome conflicts.

Francis cited current warfare between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as in Iraq and in Ukraine. He told pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square Sunday that he was thinking of children — killed, maimed or orphaned by war — who "for toys, have the debris of war."

"I beg you, stop. I ask you with all my heart," Francis said.

He cited World War I-era Pope Benedict XV's denunciation of the Great War as a "useless massacre."

Francis said: "Everything is lost with war, nothing is lost with peace. Never more war."

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