During the Angelus prayer, the Catholic leader mourned the “serious situation that has arisen in recent days” and asked Zelensky to be open to hearing “grave” peace proposals.

Pope Francis addressed this Sunday (10.02.2022) directly to the Russian leader Vladimir Putin to “beg” him to stop, also out of love for his own people, the “spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine, while rejecting the annexations of Ukrainian territories because they are “contrary to international law”.

This is the first time since the beginning of the conflict, on February 24, that the pope has addressed the Russian leader in one of his speeches, although he did not mention him by name. “My appeal is addressed above all to the president of the Russian Federation,” Jorge Mario Bergoglio said during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.

The religious leader also referred for the first time to the illegal annexations of Ukrainian territories by Russia, regretting this step and recommending “respect the territorial integrity of each country”. “I strongly deplore the serious situation that has been created in recent days, with new actions contrary to the principles of international law,” he said, adding that this “increases the risk of a nuclear escalation” and raises fears of “uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences.” Worldwide”.

How much blood should be shed?

Francis, leaning out of the window of the Apostolic Palace, confessed the “profound pain” caused by “the rivers of blood and tears shed these months”, “the thousands of victims, particularly children” and “the many destructions that have left homeless many people and families 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. For this reason, he called on the president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, to open up to “serious peace proposals.”

“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, all diplomatic instruments must be resorted to, including those that have not been used until now, to bring this enormous tragedy to an end”, he concluded.

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