Pope urges calm in protest-hit Ecuador

Pope Francis on Sunday called on all sides to refrain from violence in Ecuador, which has been rocked by nationwide protests against rising fuel and living costs.

“I am following with concern what is happening in Ecuador,” the Argentine pontiff said after his weekly Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican.

“I encourage all parties to abandon violence and extreme positions. Let us learn — only through dialogue can social peace be found, I hope soon.”

The 85-year-old urged particular attention to be paid to “the marginalised populations and the poorest, but always respecting the rights of all, and the institutions of the country”.

Ecuador’s National Assembly is due to vote on whether to oust President Guillermo Lasso over the protests that have left five people dead and dozens injured in 13 days of revolt.

Pope Francis also highlighted the death of sister Luisa Dell’Orto, an Italian missionary who he said was killed on Saturday in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

“Sister Lucia (Luisa) lived there for 20 years, dedicated above all to the service of street children,” he said.

“I entrust her soul to God and pray for the Haitian people, especially for the youngest, so they may have a more peaceful future without misery, and without violence.

“Sister Lucia made her life a gift for others, to the point of martyrdom.”

Finally, the pope urged those listening not to forget the war in Ukraine.