Pope Francis Goes Off-Script to Call for an End to Violence

Speaking off the cuff, he questioned, “What is happening in the heart of humanity?”

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From a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis used his first public appearance of 2014 to call for a spirit of community on Earth and an end to violence in the world.

Francis called on people to “work so that the world becomes a community of brothers who respect each other, accept each other in one’s diversity, and take care of one another,” the Associated Press reports.

“We are all children of one heavenly father,” he said. “We belong to the same human family and we share a common destiny.”

At one point, Francis, who has been personally invested in seeking an end to the ongoing civil war in Syria, expressed exasperation with the state of things on Earth. Putting aside his prepared remarks, he said, “What is happening in the heart of man? What is happening in the heart of humanity? It’s time to stop.”