New York: September 27, 2016

Pope Francis salutes Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Cyril Aphrem Karim, as he arrives to the Sacro Convento of Assisi, Italy, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. Pope Francis has chatted with leaders and representatives of many religions at a gathering to pray for peace in Assisi, the home town of St. Francis. Christians will pray in St. Francis Basilica, while those from other religions will pray in different locations in the Umbrian hill town that for centuries has drawn those admiring the peace-advocating saint who abandoned wealth for an austere existence of preaching tolerance. 

Today the world will have its center at Assisi, for a day of prayer, penitence and crying, because the world is at war,” he said on Tuesday. “God the father of all, Christians and not, wants peace. There’s no god of war, this is done by the devil.”

War, he said, including the inhumanity of a bomb that explodes killing and wounding, cutting off the path of humanitarian aid that can reach children, the elderly and the sick, he said, is the work “of the evil one” who wants to “kill everyone.”

Although according to the report of Vatican Radio the pope didn’t mention it, the allusion to “humanitarian aid” could have been a reference to a convoy headed to the war-torn city of Aleppo, in Syria, which was bombed on Monday, leaving 12 killed.