An Instrument of Peace

On the seventh day after the extraordinary Vigil for Peace in Saint Peter's Square comes this announcement:

The United States and Russia have reached an agreement that calls for Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday.

The story is here.

I am not suggesting a facile connection, but the "Francis effect," including his letter to Putin should certainly be considered. The letter (which I did not find widely covered in the U.S. press) was referred to by Putin in his op-ed piece in the Times. Merely a shrewd ploy or something more? – we'll see.


Robert P. Imbelli, a long-time Commonweal contributor, is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. A book of essays in his honor, The Center Is Jesus Christ Himself, edited by Andrew Meszaros, was published this year by The Catholic University of America Press.

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