NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Pope Francis on Sunday described the war in Ukraine as a “macabre regression of humanity” that makes him “suffer and cry,” calling for humanitarian corridors to evacuate people trapped in the Mariupol steelworks.
Speaking to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his noon blessing, Francis again implicitly criticized Russia.
In Roman Catholicism, the month of May is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. Francis asked for month-long prayers for peace in Ukraine.
POPE SAYS HE’S WILLING TO DO ‘EVERYTHING’ TO HELP END WAR; POSTPONES 2ND MEETING WITH RUSSIAN ORTHODOX LEADER
“My thoughts go immediately to the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the city of Mary, barbarously bombarded and destroyed,” he said of the mostly Russian-controlled southeastern port city, which is named after Mary.
Francis, 85, has not specifically mentioned Russia or its president, Vladimir Putin, since the start of the conflict on Feb. 24, but he has left little doubt which side he has criticized, using terms such as “unjustified aggression” and “invasion” and lamenting atrocities against civilians.
“I suffer and cry thinking of the suffering of the Ukrainian population, in particular the weakest, the elderly, the children,” he said, mentioning “terrible news of children who are being expelled and deported.”
Ukraine has said that Moscow has forcefully deported thousands of people to Russia. In remarks published Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said more than 1 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine into Russia since Feb. 24. Lavrov said 2.8 million people in Ukraine have asked to be evacuated into Russia.
Moscow terms its action in Ukraine a “special operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” its neighbor. Ukraine and the West say this is a baseless pretext for war.
POPE COMPARES RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE TO CAIN AND ABEL
Francis called for safe humanitarian corridors for those in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, where troops and civilians are sheltering.
He also questioned if everything possible was being done to bring about an end to the fighting through dialogue.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“While we are watching a macabre regression of humanity, I ask myself, along with many other anguished people, if peace is really being searched for, if there really is a willingness to avoid a continuing military and verbal escalation, if everything is being done to silence the weapons,” Francis said.
He urged his listeners to “not give in to the logic of violence, to the perverse spiral of weapons” but to choose a path of dialogue.
Denial of responsibility! galaxyconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.