Pope Bemoans 'This Easter of War'

Francis warns of nuclear threat in Russia-Ukraine conflict
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 17, 2022 8:01 AM CDT
Pope Bemoans an 'Easter of War'
Pope Francis on his popemobile drives through the crowd of faithful at the end of the Catholic Easter Sunday mass he led in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

On what is supposed to be Christianity's most joyful day, Pope Francis made an anguished Easter Sunday plea for peace in the “senseless” war in Ukraine and cited the “troubling” risk of nuclear warfare. “May there be peace for war-torn Ukraine, so sorely tried by the violence and destruction of this cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged,” Francis said, speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter's Square, per the AP. The pontiff had just finished celebrating Easter Mass in the square packed by faithful for the holiday for the first time since the pandemic began in early 2020. Applause erupted from many of the 50,000 people in the square and on a nearby avenue when he mentioned Ukraine.

“Our eyes, too, are incredulous on this Easter of war," he said, per Reuters. "We have seen all too much blood, all too much violence." Yet again, the pontiff decried the war in Ukraine without citing Russian President Vladimir Putin for the decision to launch the invasion and attack against Ukraine on Feb. 24. “Let us all commit ourselves to imploring peace, from our balconies and in our streets,'' Francis said. ”May the leaders of nations hear people's plea for peace." In a clear reference to the threat of nuclear warfare, Francis quoted from a declaration by scientists in 1955: “'Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war?'"

(More Pope Francis stories.)

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