Europe

Pope decries silence on lasting conflicts not in headlines

Pope Francis waves to faithful from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican Monday, Aug. 15, 2016.  Pope Francis is urging people to think about the plight of women who are “slaves of the arrogance of the powerful” as well as children forced to do “inhumane” work. In remarks to tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square Monday, Francis decried that some women “are obliged to surrender in body and spirit to the covetousness of men.” (Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP)

Pope Francis waves to faithful from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Pope Francis is urging people to think about the plight of women who are “slaves of the arrogance of the powerful” as well as children forced to do “inhumane” work. In remarks to tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square Monday, Francis decried that some women “are obliged to surrender in body and spirit to the covetousness of men.” (Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis is decrying what he calls the "shameful silence" about long-running conflicts in Africa and elsewhere.

Speaking Monday to tourists Monday in St. Peter's Square, Francis cited massacres in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo as an example of bloodshed that too often has "no weight on worldwide opinion." He said such massacres have "for some time been perpetrated in shameful silence, without even attracting our attention."

He recalled the suffering of populations in many parts of the world who are "innocent victims of persistent conflicts."

On Sunday officials said suspected rebels killed at least 36 people in northeastern Congo, spurring street protests against the ongoing violence. The rebel group has killed at least 500 civilians in the region since October 2014, a local rights group says.