Pope Francis today renewed his appeal to end the Ukraine War, calling it “cruel and senseless.’
The Holy Father’s appeal came after he prayed the noon Angelus with the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square and two days after he led the bishops of the world in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“More than a month has gone by since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, of the beginning of this cruel and senseless war, that, like every war, represents a defeat for everyone, for every one of us,” the Pope said Sunday. “We need to reject war, a place of death where fathers and mothers bury their children, where men kill their brothers and sisters without even having seen them, where the powerful decide and the poor die.”
“In union with the Bishops and faithful of the world, I desire in a solemn way to bring all that we are presently experiencing to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” Pope Francis said in his homily during the Friday, March 25, consecration ceremony. “I wish to renew to her the consecration of the Church and the whole of humanity and to consecrate to her in a particular way the Ukrainian people and the Russian people who, with filial affection, venerate her as a Mother.”
Sadly, the fighting, destruction, and loss of life continue in Ukraine. Especially hard hit is the city of Mariupol.
“The city of Mariupol is covered with the lifeless bodies of hundreds, thousands of people who no longer have anyone to bury. Thus today I want to raise my voice on behalf of this heroic, dying city: let us save it! Let us protect life!” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father, and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in his daily address on March 24.
“War does not devastate the present only, but the future of a society as well,” the Pope said today. “I read that from the beginning of the aggression in Ukraine, one of every two children has been displaced from their country. This means destroying the future, causing dramatic trauma in the smallest and most innocent among us. This is the bestiality of war – a barbarous and sacrilegious act!
“War should not be something that is inevitable. We should not accustom ourselves to war. Instead, we need to convert today’s anger into a commitment for tomorrow, because if, after what is happening, we remain like we were before, we will all be guilty in some way. Before the danger of self-destruction, may humanity understand that the moment has come to abolish war, to erase it from human history before it erases human history.
“I beg every political leader to reflect on this, to dedicate themselves to this! And, looking on battered Ukraine to understand how each day of war worsens the situation for everyone. Therefore, I renew my appeal: Enough. Stop it. Silence the weapons. Move seriously toward peace. Let us continue to pray untiringly to the Queen of Peace, to whom we consecrated humanity, in particular Russia and Ukraine, with such a huge and intense participation for which I thank all of you. Let us pray together. Hail Mary…. “