Following the Regina Coeli, Pope Francis invited everyone to pray for the people of the Central African Republic, a country which, he recalled, he has had “the joy of visiting.” The Holy Father travelled to the country in November 2015, as part of his first pastoral visit to Africa.
In his remarks on Sunday, Pope Francis noted that the Central African Republic has in recent days experienced “serious violence” that has seen many people killed or wounded, including a priest.
“May the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, help everyone to say ‘no’ to violence, in order to build peace together,” the Pope prayed.
The priest and at least 25 more people were killed when a church was attacked earlier this week in Bangui. The Red Cross reports almost 100 people were wounded in the attack, some critically. The attack adds to a list of recent deadly clashes in Central African Republic where state control is breaking down and inter-faith violence threatens to flare again.