Pope Francis dedicated his entire Angelus address on 2 October to the war in Ukraine, Vatican News reports.
“I am saddened by the rivers of blood and tears spilled in these months. I am saddened by the thousands of victims, especially children, and the destruction which has left many people and families homeless and threaten vast territories with cold and hunger. […] And what about the fact that humanity is once again faced with the atomic threat? It is absurd,” the Catholic leader said.
“How much blood must still flow for us to realize that war is never a solution, only destruction? In the name of God and in the name of the sense of humanity that dwells in every heart, I renew my call for an immediate ceasefire. Let there be a halt to arms, and let us seek the conditions for negotiations that will lead to solutions that are not imposed by force, but consensual, just and stable. And they will be so if they are based on respect for the sacrosanct value of human life, as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country, and the rights of minorities and legitimate concerns,” Pope Francis said.
The Pope implored Russian President Vladimir Putin to “stop this spiral of violence and death, also for the sake of his own people.” As well, he addressed “an equally confident appeal” to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “to be open to serious proposals for peace.”
Furthermore, he urged international leaders “to do everything possible to bring an end to the war, without allowing themselves to be drawn into dangerous escalations, and to promote and support initiatives for dialogue.”
“After seven months of hostilities, let us use all diplomatic means, even those that may not have been used so far, to bring an end to this terrible tragedy. War in itself is an error and a horror!” Pope Francis exclaimed.
The Pope’s address comes amid a Ukrainian counteroffensive that has liberated vast swaths of land in northeastern Ukraine from Russian occupation.
It also comes after Russia’s pseudo-referendum shows in occupied Ukrainian territories that Rusdia formally used to annex an additional 15% of Ukrainian land. President Zelenskyy declared that any negotiations with the Russian President are ruled out after this annexation.he
As well, Zelenskyy stated that the Russian war can end only after Ukraine liberates all its occupied territories.
Pope Francis has been accused of failing Ukraine by equating the victim and aggressor Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.