The Pope Francis called for an “Easter Truce” in Ukraine “to achieve peace through real negotiations”, after celebrating the mass for the Palm Sunday which meant the return of thousands of faithful with their palms to Saint Peter’s Square after the pandemic.
“Let an Easter truce begin, but not to reload weapons and resume combat. No. A truce to achieve peace through real negotiations” declared the pontiff, after having celebrated the ceremony in Saint Peter’s Square.
In his homily, the Catholic leader denounced the “madness of war” in a “violent and wounded world” and lamented the use of violence when recalling the martyrdom of Jesus of Nazareth: “When violence is used, nothing is known about God, who is Father, nor about others, who They are brothers,” he warned.
“We forget why we are in the world and we come to commit absurd cruelties. We see it in the madness of war, where Christ is crucified again”, he denounced. And he continued: “He is crucified in the refugees fleeing the bombs with children in their arms. He is crucified in the elderly who are left to die, in the young deprived of a future, in the soldiers sent to kill their brothers”.
Francis in his homily did not explicitly allude to the war in Ukraineas it has been doing insistently since the invasion was unleashed on February 24, but it did once again demonstrate its concern for a world “wounded” by conflicts.
And he made it clear that it will be the theme that will focus this Holy Week: “Courage, let’s walk towards Easter with your forgiveness. Because Christ continually intercedes before the Father for us and, looking at our violent and wounded world, he never tires of repeating: ‘Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing’“, term.
The Palm Sunday rite, which commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and opens Holy Week, is one of the most beloved by the faithful and began with the procession of palms in Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican and before thousands of people, which has not happened since 2019 due to the pandemic.
Francisco, suffering from a knee problem that makes it difficult for him to walk, he blessed the palms from an altar at the door of the basilica and not from the obelisk in the center of the square, as in previous yearsand neither did he follow in the procession with the faithful and the clergy.
In fact, he read his homily sitting down and he was not even seen walkingbut a car took him directly to the altar that had been installed at the foot of the basilica.
Controversy for his position on the invasion of Ukraine
During all these days of violence – branded as war crimes by Western powers – Francis has carefully avoided naming Russian President Vladimir Putin, or even Russia itself, as the aggressor.
Returning from his visit to Malta last week, the pontiff did not directly target the president and alarmingly misstated the number of Ukrainian refugees. “Thousands of people have been forced to flee Ukraine because of the war. But many have also been forced to leave their homelands in Asia, Africa and the Americas. My thoughts and prayers are with all of them.”said.
However, the Pope did not give the correct data: because there are not thousands of Ukrainian refugees, there are more than 4 million who without water, food, fuel or medicine, and mostly women and children, flee from the barbarism of the troops russians
Days ago, New York Times he also revealed that some of his own bishops and other supporters within the Roman Catholic Church want him to name names, and even warns that Historians say the pontiff risks slipping off his moral high ground and into a murky space occupied prominently by Pope Pius XII, the wartime pope who avoided speaking critically of Hitler and the Axis powers. while Germany invaded Poland and ultimately perpetrated the Holocaust.
(With information from EFE)
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