VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Pope Francis asked, “Can the Lord forgive so many crimes and so much violence? He is the God of peace.”
At the end of his weekly general audience Feb. 22 and with a group of Ukrainian parliamentarians seated in the front row, the pope noted that Feb. 24 would mark “one year since the invasion of Ukraine, a year since this absurd and cruel war — a sad anniversary.”
“The record of deaths, injuries, refugees and displaced people, destruction and economic and social damage speaks for itself,” he said.
At every general audience and public recitation of the Angelus prayer for the past year, Pope Francis has asked people to join him in praying for peace and in offering concrete assistance to the millions of Ukrainians who have sought safety abroad and for the millions of others displaced within Ukraine or struggling to survive because of the fighting.
But, with the anniversary of Russia’s invasion just two days away, the pope’s appeal Feb. 22 was even more intense.
Promising that Catholics continue to be close to the “martyred Ukrainian people who continue to suffer,” the pope asked, “Has everything possible been done to stop the war?”
“I appeal to all those who have authority over nations to commit themselves concretely to ending the conflict, to reaching a cease-fire and to starting peace negotiations,” the pope said. “That which is built on ruins will never be a true victory.”
By Cindy Wooden | Catholic News Service
1 thought on “Pope marks anniversary of Russia’s ‘absurd, cruel’ war on Ukraine”
Could the war have been prevented? Well, from 2014, when Russia reoccupied Crimea to last year, a deal between Russia and Ukraine could have been worked out possibly. So, now Russia wants more of the rest of the eastern part of Ukraine. But why? So, then perhaps Ukraine would have been better off making a deal before the invasion of last year. But President Zelenskyy refused to give up that small eastern portion of his country. So, now if President Zelenskyy wants a peace deal, he will have to give up even more of the eastern part of his country. Why can’t the two leaders, namely Putin and Zelenskyy work out a deal? Personally, I think Zelenskyy is stupid. The longer the war continues, the worse it will get for Zelenskyy, and the stronger Putin will get in his country of Russia. Someone needs to talk some sense into Zelenskyy. I want Ukraine as a nation to survive, not vanish. Zelenskyy needs to buy time, not engage in revanchism.