Prayer is weapon against 'diabolical' power of violence


VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although it is easy to feel powerless in the face of war, "prayer is the meek and holy force to oppose the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war," Pope Francis said.
With violence continuing in the Holy Land, Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh, the pope repeated his calls for peace and for prayers Oct. 15 after reciting the Angelus prayer with visitors in St. Peter's Square.
"I continue to follow with great sorrow what is happening in Israel and Palestine," he told an estimated 22,000 people in the square. Pope Francis again called on Hamas to release the more than 100 hostages, including children, they have claimed to be holding since their assault on Israel Oct. 7.
"I strongly ask that children, the sick, the elderly, women and all civilians not be made victims of the conflict," he said. And as Israeli appeared to be preparing an invasion of northern Gaza, ordered hundreds of thousands of civilians to move south and tightened its blockage on supplies into Gaza, Pope Francis insisted that "humanitarian law is to be respected, especially in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to ensure humanitarian corridors and to come to the aid of the entire population."