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Pope Francis condemns violence in US and urges 'national reconciliation and peace'

Pope Francis has condemned the violence in America. Picture by AP Photo/pool/Alberto Pizzoli

POPE Francis has condemned the recent violence in the United States and urged "national reconciliation and peace".

The Pontiff also said that while racism is intolerable, the destruction witnessed on streets across America was "self-destructive and self-defeating".

It comes after tens of thousands of people took to the streets of US cities for an eighth consecutive night of protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody.

The 46-year-old African-American died after a white policeman pinned his neck under his knee as he was arrested last week.

Dedicating the entire English-language section of his weekly audience to the US, Pope Francis yesterday described the death of Mr Floyd as "tragic".

He said he was praying for all who died as a result of the "sin of racism", including Mr Floyd.

"My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life," he said.

"At the same time, we have to recognise that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost."

The pope also asked Americans to implore God for "the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn".

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