Quantcast
Connect with us

Pope rails against ‘vengeance’ as he ends Mozambique visit

Published

on

Pope Francis on Friday told tens of thousands of faithful at a packed stadium not to resort to “vengeance” as he wound up a visit to Mozambique, ravaged by a 16-year civil war and now the target of jihadist attacks.

His maiden visit to the poor former Portuguese colony came a month after the government and the former rebel group Renamo, now the main opposition party, signed a historic peace treaty.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brutal jihadist attacks in northern Mozambique have claimed more than 300 lives over two years and forced thousands from their homes.

“We cannot think of the future and build a nation” with violence, the pope said in a homily to a crowd of about 60,000 at the Zimpeto stadium in the Mozambican capital Maputo.

Speaking in Portuguese, he asked them not to follow the old law of retaliation “an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth.

AFP / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA The stadium was jampacked and many had travelled hundreds of miles to see the pontiff

“No family, no group of neighbors or ethnic group and even less no country has a future if the motor that unites them… is composed of vengeance and hatred,” he said.

Denouncing reprisals cloaked under the guise of legality, the pope warned that violence was “an endless spiral without end with a very high cost.

ADVERTISEMENT

“You have the right to peace!” he said.

Mozambique is a mainly Christian country and 28 percent of the population is Catholic.

Earlier Friday, the pope visited an AIDS care centre on the outskirts of Maputo, hailing the carers for responding to their “silent cry” for help in a country ravaged by the disease.

ADVERTISEMENT

AFP / Tiziana FABI The Argentinian pope addressed the crowd in Portuguese

According to UNAIDS, 2.2 million Mozambicans — 60 percent of them women — were HIV positive in 2018 in the southern African nation of 27 million people.

There were 150,000 new infections last year and 54,000 AIDS-related deaths.

ADVERTISEMENT

– ‘Restoring dignity’ –

Francis hailed the “compassion” of the health workers for responding to “this silent cry, almost inaudible, of innumerable women and all the people living in shame, marginalized and judged by everybody.

Francis thanked workers at the AIDS centre for “restoring the dignity” of women and children suffering from HIV and AIDS and for “hearing their cries and intervening personally.”

ADVERTISEMENT

AFP / Tiziana FABI He also visited a hospital which hosts a program for HIV-positive people and AIDS patients

He did not however touch on the delicate subject of prevention — an issue riddled with minefields given the Catholic Church’s stand on contraception — especially in a largely conservative and traditional continent.

Francis is the first pope to visit Mozambique since John Paul II in 1988 and is on a three-nation tour that includes Madagascar and Mauritius.

On Thursday, the pontiff visited a brand new hospital in Zimpeto, a poor outlying district of the capital, where 23 percent of adult residents have been hit by HIV.

– ‘Dream’ –

ADVERTISEMENT

The complex, inaugurated last year, comprises a state-of-the-art laboratory and hosts a program for HIV-positive and AIDS patients, especially pregnant women.

This program, named “Dream”, was launched in 2002 by the Italian lay Catholic association Sant’Egidio which is very close to the Vatican and is dedicated to social service.

It runs 13 health centers in the country. The “Dream” project is spread across 11 African countries.

Mozambique and Madagascar are among the world’s poorest countries and Francis’ decision to visit is seen by commentators as an act of solidarity from a cleric who was a frequent presence in the shantytowns of Argentina and is now called the “pope of the poor”.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Commentary

Republican impeachment antics backfire as GOP congresswoman Elise Stefanik sets herself on fire

Published

on

Since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives following sweeping midterm victories last year, Republicans have had little recourse to stop attempts at congressional oversight of the Trump administration. So, they’ve resorted to rotating a few willing members to dutifully gaslight, grandstand and exhibit fake outrage while hoping to create the illusion of fighting the good fight — all for Fox News hosts who hail them as the true heroes of the republic.
Continue Reading

Facebook

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace erupts over GOP attempt to question Vindman’s loyalty: ‘I’m constantly shocked by the bottomlessness’

Published

on

During a roundtable discussion on MSNBC this Tuesday, host Nicolle Wallace slammed Republicans' apparent attempts to call into question Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's patriotism during his testimony in the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

"This is the smear campaign against Lt. Col. Vindman," Wallace said. "It is active, it is live, and today it spilled out in this public hearing."

"I am constantly shocked by the bottomlessness of the Republicans' cravennesses in trying to defend Donald Trump," she said later in the segment. "This is an active duty military person sitting there in his uniform talking about his story, but it does not put any brakes in the system on a line of questioning clearly intended to insinuate that he has duel loyalties."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump mounts sexist attack on Pelosi during impeachment hearing: ‘I think the woman is grossly incompetent’

Published

on

President Donald Trump attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from the White House on Tuesday.

As impeachment testimony was underway in the House, Trump told reporters in a Cabinet meeting that Pelosi is "grossly incompetent."

The president also said that Republicans are "killing it" in the impeachment hearings.

But Trump took a shot at Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an expert on Ukraine who was testifying at the time.

"I don't know him. ... I never saw the man," he said. "I understand now he wears his uniform when he goes in. No, I don't know Vindman at all. What I do know is that even he said that the transcript was correct."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image