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Pope condemns 'ignoble' bomb attack on Syrian civilians

Pope Francis called for peace efforts in a war that 'does not cease to sow horror and death' Credit: PA

Pope Francis has condemned an "ignoble" attack on a Syrian bus convoy that killed more than 100 people as he made his Easter sermon.

The pontiff specifically addressed Saturday's deadly bomb blast in a call for peace during a sermon to thousands of followers in St Peter's square.

"Yesterday's was the latest ignoble attack on fleeing refugees," he said.

May (God) in a particular way sustain the efforts of those who are actively working to bring healing and comfort to the civilian population of Syria, the beloved and martyred Syria, who are victims of a war that does not cease to sow horror and death.

– Pope Francis

The blast hit buses carrying civilians trying to escape rebel territory in an evacuation deal between the warring sides.

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Pope Francis says church may never allow women priests

The pope indicated he did not support campaigners for women priests Credit: PA

Pope Francis said he believes the Catholic church may well never accept women priests in some of his most definitive remarks on the controversial issue.

The pontiff, who has proved socially liberal on many topics, said his predecessor Pope John Paul II's 1994 ruling against opening up the clergy to women still stands.

When pressed over that would remain the case forever, he replied: "If we read carefully the declaration by St.John Paul II, it is going in that direction."

The Catholic Church teaches that women cannot be ordained priests because Jesus willingly chose only men as his apostles.

Those calling for women priests say he was only following the norms of his time.

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