Pope condemns Russia’s ‘perverse abuse of power’ in Ukraine

Pope Francis condemned Russia’s “perverse abuse of power” against the Ukrainian people during a gathering in Slovakia Friday, The Associated Press reports.

Francis, speaking to European Catholic representatives, said that Ukrainians have been attacked in their “identity, history and tradition” and are “defending their land.”

“The heartbreaking scream for help from our Ukrainian brothers pushes us as a community of believers not just to serious reflection, but to cry with them and work for them; to share the anguish of a people wounded in its identity, history and tradition,” Francis said.

He continued: “The blood and tears of the children, the suffering of women and men who are defending their land or fleeing from the bombs shake our conscience. Once again humanity is threatened by a perverse abuse of power and partisan interests, which condemns defenseless people to suffer all forms of brutal violence.”

The pope declined to call out Russia by name, although he expressed clear support for Ukraine amid Moscow’s invasion of the country.

Pope Francis last week decried the “barbarianism” of the killings of Ukrainians, including children.

“In the name of God, I ask: Stop this massacre,” Francis said to worshippers gathered in the Vatican.

Tags Pope Pope Francis Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Russian invasion of Ukraine Ukraine

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