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Pope Francis calls for world peace in Easter address

Pope Francis calls for world peace in Easter address
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Pope Francis has used his Easter address to denounce the “immense wastefulness” in the world while many go hungry.

A crowd of at least 150,000 people crammed into St Peter’s Square and beyond to celebrate Mass.

He also called for an end to conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Africa.

“We pray in a particular way for Syria, that all those suffering the effects of the conflict can receive much needed humanitarian aid and that neither side will again use deadly force, especially against the defenceless civilian population,” he said.

Francis asked God to “enlighten and inspire the initiatives that promote peace in Ukraine so that all those involved, with the support of the international community, will make every effort to prevent violence and, in a spirit of unity and dialogue, chart a path for the country’s future”.

The Easter Sunday services are the culmination of four hectic days of Holy Week activities for the pontiff.

Next Sunday, he will canonise Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, and Pope John XXIII, who was pontiff from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, a landmark meeting that modernised the Church.