VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis said on Sunday he was concerned by the wave of protests sweeping through Ecuador and called for “social peace.”
Moments before delivering the Angelus prayer to faithful at the Vatican, Francis said he was following events in the South American country “with concern” and called on authorities there to pay “particular attention to the most vulnerable, to the poor and human rights.”
His message coincided with the Amazon Synod taking place in the Vatican this month.
He said he felt the pain of “those who have died or been injured.”
Huge demonstrations have gripped Ecuador in the last 10 days against economic reforms pursued by the government of Lenin Moreno. Plans to scrap fuel subsidies were particularly controversial.
At least four people have been killed in clashes and another 850 have been injured. Over 1,000 arrests have been made.
Francis also called on the international community to find a solution to Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish militias in northern Syria.
“My thoughts are once again with the Middle East, in particular with the beloved and tormented Syria, where there is dramatic news about the fate of northeastern populations of the country, people forced to leave their homes due to military action; among the population are many Christian families,” he said.
“To all the actors involved and to the international community, I renew the call to sincerely engage in the path of dialogue.”