Pope Francis today demanded that “the massacre” perpetrated in Ukraine after the invasion of Russia be stopped and considered it “an unacceptable armed aggression”, after the Sunday Angelus prayer in front of St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.
“Brothers and sisters, we have just prayed to the Virgin Mary. This week the city that bears her name, Mariupol, has become a martyr city of a harsh war that devastates Ukraine,” the pontiff told the faithful from the window of the Apostolic Palace.
“Faced with the barbarism of the murder of children, of innocents and defenseless civilians, there are no valid strategic reasons. The unacceptable armed aggression should only be stopped before it reduces cities to cemeteries,” he urged.
Pope Francis, who has referred to this conflict on numerous occasions in recent days, launched a new call for an end to the fighting and bombing.
“With pain in my heart, I join my voice to the common people who implore the end of the war. In the name of God, let the cry of those who suffer be heard and put an end to the bombings and attacks, let a true and decidedly for the negotiation and that the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe”, he demanded.
And he exclaimed in front of Saint Peter’s Square: “In the name of God I ask: Stop this massacre!”
On the other hand, Francis, who celebrates nine years of pontificate today, called for “the reception of many refugees in whom Christ is present” and thanked “the great network of solidarity that has been formed” to organize their welcome to other safe countries.
And he asked all diocesan and religious communities to pray more for peace in Ukraine.
“God is only a God of peace, not a God of war, and whoever supports violence profane his name,” he said.
The pope has repeatedly expressed his concern about the war in Ukraine caused by the invasion of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
He even personally went to the Russian embassy to the Holy See a day after the attack began, on February 24, and has sent two cardinals to the country -his beggar, the Pole Konrad Krajewski, and the Czech Michael Czerny- to help the population.
The Vatican has offered itself as a mediator to “do everything” for peace.