The new pope, Francis called the church's focus on abortion, marriage and contraception narrow and said it was driving people away. Now, the U.S. bishops face a challenge to rethink a strategy many considered essential for preserving the …
Photographer: L'Osservatore Romano
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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis is asking people to join him next weekend in a day of fasting for peace in Syria.
Francis invited people of all faiths to join him Saturday evening in St. Peter's Square to invoke the `'gift" of peace for Syria, the rest of the Middle East and worldwide where there is conflict.
Declaring `'no more war," Francis spoke to tens of thousands of people gathered in the square on Sunday.
He says the `'world needs to see gestures of peace and hear words of peace." He says that only dialogue, and not armed intervention, can end Syria's civil war.
The five-hour-long prayer vigil in the square Saturday will last until midnight.
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