The Washington Post

Pope appeals for calm after U.S. Capitol riot

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Pope Francis said Sunday that he is praying for those who died in the U.S. Capitol rioting and appealed for calm to prevail in the United States to help safeguard the nation’s democratic values.

During his traditiona­l Sunday noon remarks at the Vatican, Francis noted that five people had died when a mob stormed the building where Congress was meeting Wednesday to count votes certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

“Violence is always selfdestru­ctive,” Francis said. He appealed to a “high sense of responsibi­lity” by leaders to “calm souls” to prevent further violence.

“Nothing is gained with violence, and so much is lost,” the pontiff said in remarks delivered from inside the Apostolic Palace, instead of from a window overlookin­g St. Peter’s Square because of the pandemic.

“I exhort the authoritie­s of the state and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibi­lity with the aim of calming souls, promoting national reconcilia­tion and safeguardi­ng the democratic values rooted in American society,” Francis said.

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