VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday urged the international community to seek a negotiated solution to the conflict in Syria and announced he would lead a worldwide day of prayer for peace in the country on Sept. 7.
Francis condemned the use of chemical weapons, blamed by Western powers on Syrian government forces, but added: "war, never again." The United States and France are considering military action against Damascus in response to the chemical attack.
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The pope asked the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world to pray for peace in Syria on Sept. 7 and said he would lead a special service at the Vatican.
He invited other Christians, members of other religions and all "people of good will" to join the Catholic initiative on Sept. 7 in any way they saw fit.
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