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Pope calls for peace in Ukraine, dragged down by 'cruel and senseless' war

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O papa Francisco durante a bênção Urbi et Orbi, na Páscoa de 2022.

Pope Francis during the Urbi et Orbi blessing on Easter 960.| Photo: Claudio Peri/EFE/EPA

Pope Francis called this Sunday for peace to come to Ukraine dragged “by a cruel and senseless war”, in its traditional Easter message, read from the balcony of the central gallery of the facade of Saint Peter’s Basilica, before the blessing Urbi et Orbi

. After celebrating Mass on Easter Sunday in St Peter’s Square, in front of 41 thousand people, the pope referred to “unbelief” that we are experiencing with this “War Easter”. Francis lamented that, after the pandemic, it was time to go out together hand in hand, and yet, “we are showing that we still have in us the spirit of Cain, who looks at Abel not as a brother, but as a rival, and thinks on how to remove it.”

His appeal was: “May the peace of Christ enter our lives, our homes and our countries! May there be peace in the martyred Ukraine, so sorely tested by the violence and destruction of the cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged. May a new dawn of hope soon dawn on this terrible night of suffering and death. May peace be chosen. Let them stop making demonstrations of strength while people suffer.” The pontiff also mentioned “the numerous Ukrainian victims, the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons, the families divided, the elderly who were abandoned, the lives destroyed and the cities devastated”.

Homily at the Easter Vigil has a message to the kidnapped mayor

On Saturday night, Francis participated in the Easter Vigil in St Peter’s Basilica, the first Easter ceremony, which traditionally begins with all the lights out, representing the darkness in the world with the death of Christ; little by little the church is lit up with the candles of the faithful, lit in the paschal candle, a larger candle that represents the light of the risen Jesus. Visibly tired, Francis did not celebrate mass – according to the website Crux, the Vatican did not provide the reasons, although he is known to be suffering from knee pains – but participated in the ceremony, gave the homily and baptized, confirmed and gave the first communion to seven people.

At the end of his homily, Francis addressed himself directly to Ivan Fedorov, mayor of Melitopol, in southeastern Ukraine. ; he was kidnapped by Russian forces and released in a prisoner exchange. “In this darkness that you are living, Mr Mayor, ladies and gentlemen of parliament, the tenebrous darkness of war, of cruelty, we all pray. We pray with you and for you tonight. We pray for so much suffering. We can only offer you our company, our prayer and say to you: ‘Courage! We accompany you!’ And also to announce to you the great reality that is celebrated today: Christós Voskrés

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2022 )

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