Pope Francis: ‘In Ukraine, rivers of blood and tears are flowing’

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During his weekly address on Sunday, Pope Francis called on the Russian invasion of Ukraine to end while rejecting the use of “special military operation,”Reuters reported

“In Ukraine, rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not just a military operation but a war which sows death, destruction and misery,” Francis told those congregating at St. Peter’s Square on Sunday. 

Most of the crowd at Pope Francis’s address were holding multi-colored peace flags as well as the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine, according to Reuters. 

Even though he didn’t condemn Russia by name for its invasion, he repeated his ask for peace between the two countries, the creation of humanitarian corridors, and return to negotiations. 

“In that martyred country the need for humanitarian assistance is growing by the hour,” Pope Francis said.  “War is madness, please stop.”

Pope Francis’ remarks come as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a series of international sanctions being leveled against Moscow. U.S. companies in a variety of sectors have also moved to end business with Russia.

Ukrainian citizens are fleeing the country amid the invasion, and many inside and outside Ukraine are seeking to communicate through services that are intended to ensure their privacy.

The UN’s refugee agency shared on Thursday that more than one million Ukrainian citizens have fled the country since the invasion. 

When the invasion began, Pope Francis traveled to the Russian embassy in Italy to share his concern about the invasion, which was a departure from protocol, Reuters noted.

“Even if the pope did not say the word ‘Russia’, everyone in the world knows who the aggressor that invaded us is and who started this unprovoked war,” Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican Andriy Yurash said in a statement.

Tags . Russia-Ukraine conflict Italy Pope Francis The Vatican Vatican City
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