Pope Francis addressed Putin for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine began: “Stop the spiral of violence and death”

Pope Francis (Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS/File) (VATICAN MEDIA/)

The Pope Francisco addressed this Sunday publicly to the president of Russia, Vladimir Putinto stop the “spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine and expressed concern about the risk of a nuclear escalation on the planet.

“My appeal is addressed above all to the President of the Russian Federation, begging him to stop, also for the love of his people, this spiral of violence and deathFrancis said, addressing Putin for the first time in publicbut without mentioning his name.

The pontiff replaced the catechesis of the Angelus with this reflection in which he called on the world to resort to “diplomatic instruments” to stop this “serious, devastating and threatening” conflict and encouraged the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskya “be open to serious peace proposals”.

Francis, looking out the window of the Apostolic Palace, confessed the “deep pain” that cause you “the rivers of blood and tears versed these months”, “the thousands of victims, especially children” and “the many destructions that have left many people and families homeless; and threaten vast territories with cold and hunger.”

“And what about the fact that humanity is once again facing the atomic threat? It’s stupid. What else must happen? How much blood must still be shed for us to understand that war is never the solution, but only destruction? ”, He questioned.

A local resident walks past an apartment block damaged during Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Mariupol, Ukraine. (REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)
A local resident walks past an apartment block damaged during Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine in Mariupol, Ukraine (REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko) (ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO/)

The Pope demanded that they arrive “immediately to a ceasefire”, that “we must silence the weapons and look for the conditions to begin negotiations capable of leading to solutions not imposed by force, but agreed, fair and stable”.

These, he indicated, “They must be based on respect for the sacrosanct value of human life, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of every country.as well as the rights of minorities and their legitimate concerns”.

He also strongly deploredthe serious situation created in recent days with new actions contrary to the principles of international law”, such as the Russian annexation of four Ukrainian regions, which Francis did not specify.

These actions, in his opinion, “increase the risk of a nuclear escalation to fear uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences worldwide.

His appeal, in addition to being addressed to Putin and Zelensky, was also to “all the protagonists of international life” so that they “do everything possible to put an end to the ongoing war without being drawn into dangerous escalations and to promote and support dialogue initiatives”.

“Please, let the young generations breathe the healthy air of peace, not the polluted air of war, which is crazy. After seven months of hostilities, let all diplomatic instruments be usedalso to those until now possibly not used, to make this enormous tragedy end, “he concluded.

Francis has shown concern at all times about the war in Ukraine, coming to value a trip to that country, and on this occasion he decided to dedicate the entire Angelus to reflecting on the problem, something that rarely happens, the last one in 2013 to ask peace in Syria.

(With information from EFE)


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