Pope invokes refugees, immigrants in Easter sermon

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Pope Francis’s Easter sermon was marked by an increase in security Sunday.

The pope used part of his homily at St. Peter’s Basilica to address violence around the world amid a rise in terrorist attacks.

“The church never ceases to say to with our defeaters, to our closed and fearful hearts, ‘Stop, the Lord is risen,’” Pope Francis said Sunday according to multiple reports.

{mosads}“But if the Lord is risen, why do these things happen?”

Francis spoke about Saturday’s bombing in Syria, highlighting the plight of people caught in “a war that continues to sow horror and death.”

The pope’s remarks also acknowledged the suffering of immigrants and human trafficking victims, urging them to “look beyond” for “a direction in the midst of so many calamities.”

Francis addressed similar issues in a homily during an Easter vigil Saturday, comparing Mary and Mary Magdalene to “children and young people who bear the grievous burden of injustice and brutality.”

“In their faces we can see reflected all those who, walking the streets of our cities, feel the pain of dire poverty, the sorrow born of exploitation and human trafficking,” he said.

“We can also see the faces of those who are greeted with contempt because they are immigrants, deprived of country, house and family,” the pope added. “We see faces whose eyes bespeak loneliness and abandonment, because their hands are creased with wrinkles.”

According to Reuters, security has been tight for the Pope’s Easter week events after truck attacks against pedestrians recently in London and Stockholm. Vatican officials said the service had the heaviest security checks ever for a public event at Vatican City because of threats against the pontiff.


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