Francis marks 70th anniversary of Geneva Conventions

Pope Francis prays at an Austro-Hungarian cemetery for World War I soldiers in Fogliano di Redipuglia, Italy, in 2014 (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis marked the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions yesterday with a message urging the protection of life and human dignity in armed conflicts. Source: CNA.

“Let us not forget that war and terrorism are always a serious loss for all humanity,” he said after his Angelus prayer.

The Geneva Conventions are “important international legal instruments that impose limits on the use of force and are aimed at the protection of civilians and prisoners in times of war,” Francis said.

Signed amid the aftermath of World War II on August 12, 1949, the four Geneva Conventions expanded international humanitarian law for the protection of civilian populations during war and further defined protocols for the humane treatment of prisoners of war, as well as for the wounded and the sick.

Pope Francis urged the particular importance of protecting unarmed populations and civil structures today, especially hospitals, schools, places of worship, and refugee camps.

Last month the Pope spoke out after an airstrike hit a migrant detention centre amid the armed conflict in Libya, killing more than 50 people. “The international community cannot tolerate such serious facts,” Francis said on July 7.

Hospitals and schools also became targets during the Syrian civil war. More than 300 healthcare facilities in Syria were attacked in the conflict by 2018, according to Physicians for Human Rights.

Pope Francis said that he hopes that the anniversary of the Geneva Conventions will help countries today to be more “aware of the indispensable need to protect the life and dignity of victims of armed conflicts.”

“We are invited, that is, to live an authentic and mature faith, capable of illuminating the many ‘nights of life,’” he said.

The Pope said “the lamp of faith needs to be constantly nourished with meeting Jesus heart to heart in prayer and listening to His Word.”

“True faith opens our hearts to others and spurs us towards concrete communion with our brothers, especially those in need.

“The thought of our final encounter with the Father, rich in mercy, fills us with hope, and spurs us to a constant commitment to our sanctification and to build a more just and fraternal world,” he said.

FULL STORY

Pope Francis: War is always a loss for all humanity (CNA

Mass on Demand

home-video-thumbnail

From Parish of Our Lady of The Way, North Sydney & Lavender Bay. The first Mass of the day on YouTube

Daily Prayer

Daily Prayer

All your daily readings, reflections and prayers can be found here... 

view