Pope prays for Jerusalem as violent clashes riddle city

  VATICAN CITY - Speaking after his Regina Caeli address on Sunday from the window of the Apsotolic Palace, Pope Francis spoke of his concern about the violence going on in Jerusalem, after clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police on Friday and Saturday saw as many as 300 people injured.

  He said, "I pray that [Jerusalem] may be a place of encounter and not of violent clashes, a place of prayer and peace. I invite everyone to seek shared solutions so that the multireligious and multicultural identity of the Holy City is respected and brotherhood prevails. Violence begets violence. Enough with the clashes."

  The pontiff also went on to mention the bombing outside a secondary school in Kabul on Saturday that killed more than 50 people - the majority schoolgirls. He called it "an inhumane action that struck so many girls as they were leaving school. Let us pray for each one of them and for their families. And may God give peace to Afghanistan."

  He briefly mentioned the violent riots taking place in Colombia - thousands taking to the streets in protest of the government as poverty soars and ICUs are incapacitated by Covid - before speaking about the beatification of Rosario Angelo Livatino in Agrigento.

  Livatino was a magistrate killed by Sicilian mafia in 1990, aged only 37, and was on Sunday beatified, a step on the way to canonisation. The pope said, "In his service to the community as an upstanding judge, who never allowed himself to become corrupt, he strived to judge not to condemn but to rehabilitate. He always places his work “under the protection of God”; for this reason he became a witness to the Gospel up to his heroic death. May his example be for everyone, especially for judges, an incentive to be loyal defenders of lawfulness and freedom. A round of applause for the new Blessed!"