The Vatican's nuncio to Iraq said U.S. military airstrikes "had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped."
Pope Francis formally asked U.N. agencies and the entire international community "to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway" in northeastern Iraq.
In a letter signed Aug. 9 but released by the Vatican after it had been delivered, Pope Francis told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon immediate action was needed "to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities."
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
"In this place of prayer, in this place of faith ... this place is a fertile ground to talk about our love of the Lord."
Book review: Had it not been for Jo Roberts' stunning new book, Contested Land, Contested Memory, I might have paid less attention to the events in the Middle East.
There are a number of ways to follow Pope Francis' Aug. 14-18 visit to South Korea using various media sources, including my own updates on the NCR website. The best way to follow it live will be on the Station KBS, the official Korean broadcast site. It will use some of the most advanced Web broadcasting technologies.
Broadcasting will be continuous for 124 hours, representing the 124 martyrs that Pope Francis will beatify Saturday.
"There are actually two churches here: the church of the bishops and the church of the progressive minority," one priest said.
NCR Today: Robin Williams dead of apparent suicide; the future of the Catholic church is in Asia; the effects of the Middle East fighting; LCWR meets in Nashville starting tonight
Even as Francis called for peace in the Middle East, the Vatican tried to come to terms with the idea that U.S. military strikes were necessary and working.