ROME — Pope Francis sent greetings and prayers to the American people Sunday while urging national reconciliation and the recovery of “democratic values.”
“I send an affectionate greeting to the people of the United States of America shaken by the recent assault on Congress,” the pontiff said after his weekly Angelus address. “I pray for those who lost their lives — 5 people — in those dramatic moments.”
“I reaffirm that violence is self-destructive always,” the pope continued. “Nothing is gained through violence and much is lost.”
“I exhort the state authorities and the entire population to maintain a great sense of responsibility in order to calm people’s spirits and promote national reconciliation and all the other democratic values rooted in American society,” he said.
“May the Immaculate Virgin, patroness of the United States of America, help keep alive a culture of encounter, a culture of care, as a sure path to build the common good together with all who live in that land,” he concluded.
Pope Francis also touched on the issue in an interview with Fabio Marchese Ragona, a correspondent for Italy’s Channel 5 television, to be broadcast Sunday evening.
According to an article in America magazine, the pope said he was “astounded” by Wednesday’s chaos at the U.S. Capitol, stating that “even in the most mature state there’s always something that doesn’t work, people who take a path that’s against the community, against democracy, against the common good.”
“Violence is always like this, isn’t it?” Francis said. “No people can boast of not having even for one day a case of violence. It happens throughout history, but we must understand well so as not to repeat it and to learn from history.”