Praying for those died in US Capitol rioting: Pope

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Vatican City: Pope Francis said Sunday that he is praying for those who died in the US Capitol rioting and has appealed for calm to prevail in the United States to help safeguard that nation’s democratic values.

“Violence is always self-destructive,” Francis said. He appealed to a “high sense of responsibility” by leaders to “calm souls” to prevent further violence.

A mob stormed the Capitol after US President Donald Trump exhorted a rally of supporters to head to the building and “fight like hell” to protest his US loss in November’s presidential election, which he, with no factual basis, claims was “stolen.”

The rioting left a Capitol police officer and four others dead. “I offer an affectionate greeting to the people of the United States, shaken by the recent siege of Congress,” the pope said in remarks delivered from inside the Apostolic Palace, instead of from a window overlooking St Peter’s Square due to the pandemic.

“I pray for those who lost their lives, five (persons), in those dramatic moments.”            “Nothing is gained with violence and so much is lost,” he said. “I exhort the authorities of the state and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibility with the aim of calming souls, promoting national reconciliation and safeguarding the democratic values rooted in American society,” Francis said.