FILE PHOTO:Donald Trump and Pope Francis meet at the Vatican.Reuters
Pope Francis urged Americans on Sunday to shun violence, seek reconciliation and "protect democratic values" following the mob attack on the .US Capitol building by supporters of President Trump that left five people dead.
"I repeat that violence is self-destructive, always. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost," the pope said in his Sunday address.
Dozens of people have been charged following the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday, with the FBI asking the public to help identify participants, given the proliferation of images of the riots on the internet. Five people have died, including a police officer.
"I appeal to the authorities of the country and to the entire population to maintain a lofty sense of responsibility in order to calm things down, promote national reconciliation and protect democratic values that are rooted in American society," Francis said.
Francis said he wanted to send "an affectionate greeting" to all Americans, saying the country was "shaken by the recent siege on Congress".
He said he was praying for those who died "in those dramatic moments" and prayed that all Americans would "keep alive a culture of encounter, a culture of caring, as the master way to build together the common good".