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Pope Francis on massive bombardments of Ukraine: Nothing can justify this

Wednesday, 10 January 2024, 14:37
Pope Francis on massive bombardments of Ukraine: Nothing can justify this
Pope Francis, photo: Vaticannews

Pope Francis has stressed that the massive Russian attacks on Ukraine "cannot be justified in any way", calling them "unworthy and unacceptable".

Source: website of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC); His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head of the UGCC

Details: On 29 December last year, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the head of the UGCC, sent a letter to Pope Francis informing him of the tragic consequences of Russia's largest missile attack on Ukraine. In his letter of reply, Pope Francis stated:

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Quote: "Once again, through you, I wish to express my closeness to 'long-suffering Ukraine', to mourn the dead and trust them to God's mercy, to comfort the wounded and to embrace all those who suffer in any way.

I am close to the pastors who are trying to give hope to people in a ‘situation that seems increasingly hopeless’.

... I share with you the same feelings of contempt and pain that you feel in the face of military operations that, in striking the civilian population and civilian infrastructure of the whole country, are unworthy and unacceptable and cannot be justified in any way."

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More details: Pope Francis emphasised in his letter that he considers it extremely dangerous that "against the backdrop of dramatic international events, there is a risk that the war in Ukraine could become a 'forgotten' war". Therefore, he said, "it is our duty to do everything we can to ensure that this war is not shrouded in silence, not only to be horrified by tragic facts, but above all to compel all those responsible and the international community to seek peaceful solutions."

Pope Francis also said in the letter that he was using every opportunity to ensure that the war in Ukraine is not "forgotten".

Quote: "In today's general audience [3 January], I urged everyone not to forget the nations where there is war, recalling that 'war is madness, war is always a loss. Let us pray. Let's pray for people in Palestine, Israel, Ukraine and many other places where there is war.’ I said the same thing on 1 January, the World Day of Peace, and I will continue to do so, calling out loudly until the sound of guns in Ukraine subsides and the road to a just peace begins."

Background:

  • On 29 December 2023, the Russian military launched its largest-ever missile attack on Ukrainian cities.
  • 33 civilians were killed in Kyiv alone. In total, over 50 people were killed and more than 150 injured across Ukraine.

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