Pope Francis appeals for end to ‘tragic’ Ukraine conflict

Pope Francis appeals for end to ‘tragic’ Ukraine conflict

Pope Francis appeals for end to ‘tragic’ Ukraine conflict.

Pope Francis delivers his Angelus address at the Vatican, Feb. 27, 2022. / Screenshot from Vatican News YouTube channel.

Vatican City, Feb 27, 2022 / 04:21 am (CNA).

Pope Francis appealed on Sunday for an end to the Ukraine conflict.

In his first public comments since the Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the pope called for humanitarian corridors to be opened to allow Ukrainians to flee the intense fighting.

“In these days we have been shocked by something tragic: war. Several times we have prayed that this road would not be taken. And we do not stop speaking, indeed, we beg God more intensely,” he said after reciting the Angelus on Feb. 27.

He reiterated his appeal to people around the world to pray and fast for peace on Ash Wednesday, March 2.

The pope had been due to visit Florence on Sunday but was forced to postpone the trip due to knee pain.

Since the launch of the full-scale invasion Ukraine, the pope has engaged in behind-the-scenes efforts to help end the conflict.

On Feb. 25, he visited the Russian Embassy to the Holy See to express his concern at the war. The Catholic author George Weigel told Catholic World Report that the pope spoke to Putin during the visit.

On the same day, he called Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, who is based in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The pope promised to do everything he can to help end the war.

On Feb. 26, Pope Francis expressed his sorrow at the situation in Ukraine in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

More to follow

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