Chaplains must assist military traumatized by war, pope says

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October 27, 2015

A military chaplain consoles a family in Zamboanga City, Philippines, Jan. 31. Pope Francis said military chaplains must also assist soldiers traumatized by war experience. (CNS photo/Laurenz Castillo, EPA) See POPE-MILITARY-HEALING Oct. 27, 2015.

A military chaplain consoles a family in Zamboanga City, Philippines, Jan. 31. Pope Francis said military chaplains must also assist soldiers traumatized by war experience. (CNS photo/Laurenz Castillo, EPA)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As more members of the armed forces endure both physical and emotional scars from conflicts raging around the world, Pope Francis called on military chaplains to tend to their wounds with the healing balm of the sacraments.

“At this time, in which we are living a ‘third world war fought in pieces,’ you are called to nourish the spiritual and ethical dimensions of members of the military and their families, which will help them to face the difficulties and the often lacerating questions inherent in this unique service to their homeland and to humanity,” the pope said Oct. 27.

Military chaplains and some heads of military dioceses — including Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the United States — were in Rome for a course on chaplains and international humanitarian law, which was sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

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