On Sunday, September 1, 2013, Pope Francis declared a day of prayer and fasting for Syria. He assured his audience, furthermore, that God would judge those who use chemical weapons: "I condemn with particular force the use of chemical weapons. I still have in my mind and heart the terrible images of the past days...There is judgment from God and history on our actions that no one can escape..."
This is particularly significant, since popes rarely for a solemn day of fasting. It does call to mind, however, the fast called for by Pope John Paul II, following the September 11 attacks in 2001. In any case, the Pope is critical of any sort of armed intervention: "My heart is profoundly wounded in these days by what is happening in Syria and I am anxious about the prospect of dramatic developments...War leads to more war, violence to more violence," he said, voicing hope that "a chain of commitment for peace will unite all women and men of good will...With all my strength, I call on the warring parties to listen to the voice of their own consciences, not to close themselves in their own interests but to look on the other as a brother..."
Leridon, M. "Pope announces world day of fasting, prayer for Syria." 1 September 2013. Web. 2 September 2013. Retrieved from: http://news.yahoo.com/pope-announces-world-prayer-day-syria-111842329.html