Pope prays for peace as Ukraine-Russia tensions rise

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (CNS/Reuters)

Pope Francis yesterday prayed for reconciliation amid rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Source: CNA.

“I follow with great concern the events in some areas of eastern Ukraine, where violations of the ceasefire have multiplied in recent months, and I observe with great concern the increase in military activities,” Pope Francis said after the Regina Coeli prayer yesterday.

“I strongly hope an increase in tensions will be avoided, and, on the contrary, that gestures be made that are capable of promoting mutual trust and fostering reconciliation and peace, which are so much needed and so much desired.”

The Pope expressed closeness to those suffering from “the serious humanitarian situation” in Ukraine for which he invited people to pray.

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been on the rise due to the build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border and recent clashes in the Donbass region.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said it is “the largest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014”.

On April 16, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for four-way peace talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to ease tensions.

FULL STORY

Pope Francis prays for peace as Ukraine-Russia tensions rise (By Courtney Mares, CNA

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