Pope decries ‘fratricide’ conflict in Ukraine and appeals for dialogue
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has decried the ‘fratricide’ conflict in Ukraine and issued an urgent appeal for dialogue, “the only possible path to peace”.
Speaking at the end of the weekly General Audience, the Pope said his thoughts go to the beloved Ukrainian people.
“Unfortunately the situation is worsening” as is the clash between the parties he said.
And asking for prayers for the victims, many of whom are civilians, and for the families, the Pope said “let us pray the Lord so that this horrible fratricide violence may cease as soon as possible”.
And Pope Francis renewed his heartfelt appeal “so that every possible effort – even at an international level – may be made for the resumption of dialogue, the only possible path for peace and harmony in that tormented land”.
And speaking off-the-cuff, Pope Francis said that when he hears the words ‘victory’ or ‘defeat’ he feels great pain, great sadness in his heart: “they are not the right words. The only right word is peace. This is the only right word” he said.
“I think of you, Ukrainian brothers and sisters, this is a war between Christians” he said.
And calling the conflict a scandal, he pointed out that all those involved in the conflict have the same baptism.
Pope Francis concluded his appeal urging all to pray, because – he said – “prayer is our protest before God in times of war”.