Pope Francis again condemned Sunday in Malta “the sacrilegious war” in “martyred” Ukraine, a few hours after the discovery of the corpses of civilians which aroused shock and indignation.
“Let us pray for peace while thinking of the humanitarian tragedy of martyred Ukraine, still under the bombardments of this sacrilegious war,” the pope said after an open-air mass in front of at least 12,000 people in the capital. Valletta.
On Saturday, François had castigated the Russian invasion, evoking “some powerful, sadly locked in his anachronistic pretensions of nationalist interests”, which “provokes and foments conflicts”.
He also denounced “the seductions of autocracy” and “the new imperialisms” which threaten the world with an “extensive Cold War which could suffocate the life of peoples and generations”.
Asked by a journalist on the plane about the possibility of him going to kyiv soon, he replied: “It is being studied”.
This condemnation of the pope comes a few hours after the discovery of the bodies of 20 civilians, lying on the ground with their hands tied, in Boutcha, near kyiv.
Arriving for mass in his “Papamobile”, Francis was greeted in Granaries Square in Floriana, on the outskirts of the capital Valletta, by the cheers of the crowd, stopping several times to bless children and babies.
“I found him very tired yesterday … I think he is in pain. He is his age and the program is very busy for him,” Anna Balzan, a 67-year-old Maltese, told AFP. daughter and her three grandsons. On her shoulders, a Vatican flag that she has had since the visit of John Paul II in 1990.
– “Sign of hope” –
Since the beginning of this two-day visit, the Holy Father, 85, has appeared diminished by his joint problems which have recently forced him to cancel engagements. For the first time, he had to use a lifting platform on Saturday to get on and off his plane.
But her visit remains “a sign of hope at a time when no one seems to believe in anything anymore. Even in Malta, there seem to be fewer and fewer people going to church,” said Isabella Dorgu, a teacher. 38-year-old Italian living in Malta.
Earlier on Sunday, the sovereign pontiff gathered at St. Paul’s Cave in Rabat, one of the island’s main pilgrimage sites, which his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI had already visited.
The pope again called for following in the footsteps of the welcome given to the patron saint of Malta, who was shipwrecked in the year 60 off the coast of Malta according to Christian tradition, in reference to migrants arriving in the Mediterranean archipelago.
“Help us to recognize from afar the needs of those who are struggling in the midst of the waves of the sea, thrown on the rocks of an unknown shore. May our compassion not be exhausted in vain words”, he said. he declares.
In the afternoon, he will deliver a speech in a reception center for refugees, the “Laboratoire de paix Jean XXIII”.
On the plane that will bring him back to Rome shortly before 8:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. GMT), the pope will respond to the journalists who are accompanying him, for his traditional press conference.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.