Pope praises UN global ceasefire resolution

By Courtney Mares
Catholic News Agency

VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Pope Francis applauded the United Nations Security Council July 5 for its recent resolution calling for an immediate global ceasefire amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The call for a global and immediate ceasefire, which would allow the peace and security necessary to provide the urgently needed humanitarian assistance, is commendable,” Pope Francis said after his Angelus prayer July 5.

“I hope that this decision will be implemented effectively and promptly for the good of many people who are suffering. May this Security Council resolution become a courageous first step towards a peaceful future,” he said.

The ceasefire resolution applies to conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Libya, South Sudan and Congo, according to the Associated Press. It demands “a durable humanitarian pause for at least 90 consecutive days” to ensure that medical and humanitarian aid will reach those in need as the coronavirus continues to spread.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres delivers the keynote address at the opening of the high-level session of the 2020 Virtual Counter-Terrorism Week on the theme “Countering Terrorism in a Global Pandemic Environment.” The UN Security Council approved a resolution July 1 affirming Guterres’ call for a global ceasefire. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe)

The 15 countries that make up the Security Council passed the resolution July 1 after months of disagreement between China and the United States over whether the text would include references to either the World Health Organization or “transparency.”

The UN Secretary General António Guterres first called for a global ceasefire on March 23 with Pope Francis echoing this appeal the following week.

The UN Secretary General said that a global ceasefire would “help create corridors for life-saving aid” and “bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.” He pointed out that refugee camps and people with existing health conditions are most at risk of suffering “devastating losses.”

On March 29, Pope Francis said that conflicts “are not resolved through war,” adding that they must be overcome through “dialogue and a constructive search for peace.”

Pope Francis addresses the United Nations General Assembly during his visit to U.N. headquarters during its 70th session 3rd plenary meeting Sept. 25, 2015. (UN Photo/Cia Pak)

The pope said in his Angelus address July 5 that Jesus offers “the weary and oppressed” much more than “psychological solace or a lavish handout.”

“The joy that Jesus gives us — it is unique. It is the joy that He Himself has,” he said.

“The world exalts those who are rich and powerful, no matter by what means, and at times tramples upon the human being and his or her dignity. We see this every day, the poor who are trampled underfoot,” Pope Francis said. “It is a message for the Church, called to live works of mercy and to evangelize the poor, to be meek and humble. This is how the Lord wants His Church — that is, us — to be.”

Pope Francis said that Jesus placed Himself among “those who labor and are burdened” because He was “meek and humble of heart.”

“May Mary, the humblest and highest of creatures, implore from God wisdom of the heart for us … that we may discern its signs in our lives and be sharers in those mysteries which, hidden from the proud, are revealed to the humble,” the pope said.

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