"I ask all diocesan and religious communities to increase their moments of prayer for peace. God is only the God of peace, he is not the God of war ..."
After praying the midday Angelus on March 13, the ninth anniversary of his election to the See of Perter, Pope Francis again made a heartfelt appeal for peace in Ukraine.
Here is what he said:
Brothers and sisters, we have just prayed to the Virgin Mary. This weekend, a city that bears her name, Mariupol, has become a city martyred by the ruinous war that is devastating Ukraine. Faced with the barbarism of the killing of children, and of innocent and defenseless citizens, there are no strategic reasons that hold up: The only thing to be done is to cease the unacceptable armed aggression before the city is reduced to a cemetery.
With an aching heart I add my voice to that of the common people, who implore the end of the war. In the name of God, listen to the cry of those who suffer, and put an end to the bombings and the attacks!
Let there be real and decisive focus on the negotiations, and let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe. In the name of God, I ask you: Stop this massacre!
I would like once again to urge the welcoming of the many refugees, in whom Christ is present, and to give thanks for the great network of solidarity that has formed.
I ask all diocesan and religious communities to increase their moments of prayer for peace. God is only the God of peace, he is not the God of war, and those who support violence profane his name.
Now let us pray in silence for those who suffer, and that God may convert hearts to a steadfast will for peace.