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Pope appeals for peace, reconciliation in the United States

Pope Francis speaking during the Sunday Angelus has called on the people of the United States to be responsible, promote democracy and reconciliation, following the

 storming of the Capitol in Washington 


The pope said he was "shaken by the recent assault on Congress" and said he is praying for the five people who lost their lives "in those dramatic moments."

Francis was speaking during the Sunday Angelus, days after an angry mob stormed Capitol Hill January 6, clashing with police, breaking down doors and moving into the halls of the Capitol building, interrupting the count of electoral votes to certify the 2020 election affirming Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice-president.

"I reiterate that violence is always self-destructive," Pope Francis said. "Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost," he added.

"I urge the State authorities and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibility in order to soothe tempers, promote national reconciliation, and protect the democratic values rooted in American society," he said.

The pope had already commented about the attack on the Capitol in a pre-recorded television interview with Italy's "Canale 5" that aired last night.

The Canale 5 special was called, "The world I hope for: Pope Francis speaks".

The interview with journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona, took place in the Santa Marta Residence in the Vatican.

The pope addressed various topics, including: the pandemic, the vaccine, the unrest in the United States, abortion, politics and how his life has changed because of the virus.

Pope Francis in that interview said the January 6 events on Capitol Hill "came as a surprise" to him even though he acknowledged that no society can consider itself immune from subversive elements.

"I was amazed, because they are a people who are so disciplined in democracy," said Pope Francis.

However, even mature societies can have flaws, and there are often people "who take a path against the community, against democracy, and against the common good", he said.

Violence must certainly be condemned, he said. "It must always be condemned, regardless of those who perpetrate it."

He pointed out that "There is no society which can boast of never having had a single day or case of violence," and so it is now a question of "understanding, so as not to repeat [the violence] and learn from history."

"Understanding is fundamental", the pope said because it is the only way in which to find a "remedy."

Regarding the anti-Covid vaccine, the pope also spoke of the possibility of choosing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a choice that he described as "ethical".

He expressed the hope that everyone will do so in respect for the lives and the health of others.

 Click here for the full text of Pope Francis' ANGELUS Sunday, 10 January 2021.