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‘Absurd and cruel war’: Pope marks 1-year anniversary of Ukraine invasion

Pope Francis greets faithful from Ukraine

Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 02/22/23

"May the Lord forgive so many crimes and so much violence."
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For many months now, Pope Francis has called for prayers for Ukraine in every public audience and address.

Here’s what he said after the general audience on this February 22.

The day after tomorrow, on 24 February, it will be one year since the invasion of Ukraine, since the beginning of this absurd and cruel war. A sad anniversary! The toll of dead, wounded, refugees and displaced persons, destruction, economic and social damage speaks for itself.

May the Lord forgive so many crimes and so much violence. He is the God of peace. Let us remain close to the tormented Ukrainian people, who continue to suffer, and let us ask ourselves: has everything possible been done to stop the war?

I appeal to those who have authority over nations to make a concrete commitment to end the conflict, to achieve a cease-fire and to start peace negotiations. What is built on rubble will never be a true victory!

Pope FrancisUkraine
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