Pope Francis spoke out about the fighting in Iraq:
As a military operation in northern Iraq fights to wrest control of areas held by retaliating Islamic State forces, Pope Francis criticized the “cruelty” and heinous violence waged against innocent civilians.
He invited people to pray with him, asking that “Iraq, while gravely stricken, might be both strong and firm in the hope of moving toward a future of security, reconciliation and peace.”
Speaking to visitors in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 23 for the Angelus prayer, the pope said, “In these dramatic hours, I am close to the entire population of Iraq, especially that of the city of Mosul.”
“Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that for too long have been perpetrated against innocent citizens, whether they be Muslims, whether they be Christians, or people belonging to other ethnic groups and religions.”
He said he was “saddened to hear news of the killing, in cold blood, of many sons and daughters of that beloved land, including many children; this cruelty makes us weep, leaving us without words.”
The pope’s remarks came as Iraqi government troops and Kurdish fighters backed by a U.S.-led coalition were seeking to retake control of Mosul, the nation’s second-largest city. As the so-called Islamic State lost control of a number of villages, it has stepped up attacks in other parts of the country.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights verified reports that IS militants were forcing residents of surrounding villages into Mosul — presumably to be us used as human shields.
Go here to read the rest. All the sadness and weeping in the world won’t make a dime’s worth of difference to the people living under a cruel regime unless the military power exists to liberate them. That is the hard reality that the Pope seeks to avoid acknowledging.