Pope Appeals for Peace in Eastern Ukraine

Tensions Increase with More Russian Troops on Border

Pope Peace Ukraine
© Vatican Media

Pope Francis on Sunday appealed for Peace in the Eastern areas of Ukraine, where tensions between Russia and Ukraine have increased in light of a build-up of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and in Crimea.

The Holy Father’s comments came after praying the Regina Caeli with the faithful gather in St. Peter’s Square.

“And this is something sad,” the Pope said. “I am following with deep concern the events in several areas of eastern Ukraine, where in recent months violations of the cease-fire have multiplied, and I observe with great apprehension the increase of military activities.

“Please, I firmly hope that the increase of tensions may be avoided and, on the contrary, gestures may be made that are capable of promoting mutual trust and fostering reconciliation and peace, so necessary and so desired. May we also keep at heart the grave humanitarian situation being experienced by that population, to whom I express my closeness and for whom I invite you to pray. Ave Maria….”

Pope Francis met with Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyha on March 25, 2021, in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

According to a Holy See Press Office bulletin, the “cordial discussions” focused on the good relations between the Holy See and Ukraine, “with particular attention to some current matters of mutual interest, as well as various themes relating to the life and activity of the Catholic Church in the country.”

“The parties then discussed extensively the health crisis and the dramatic situation in eastern Ukraine, with the hope that the recent ceasefire violations would give way to gestures promoting a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” the statement continued.

Earlier this week, the Pan-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations made an appeal to all those that have the power and the competence, to cease the fire and the bombardments, and to find in themselves the sufficient strength and courage to take up the preceding stated commitments and find a way for a peaceful solution to the conflict.