Following the devastation in Mariupol, Ukraine where a hospital and a mosque were targeted, Pope Francis cries “let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe.”
Teary-eyed, Pope Francis concluded last week’s Sunday Angelus with a heartfelt call for the end of the “unacceptable armed aggression” but without naming Russia.
People have pointed out that the Church leader has not explicitly mentioned the word ‘Russia’ since the start of the invasion despite his multiple calls for peace and prayers for Ukraine.
Several publications such as the Catholic News Service have cited Vatican diplomats for saying that the Pope must follow the tradition of not condemning one side and keep a door open for dialogue.
The Vatican has already offered to facilitate diplomatic talks between the two nations as well as announcing March 2, Ash Wednesday, as a day of fasting and prayer for peace.
(Also read: Pope offers to mediate Russia and Ukraine dialogue )
After yesterday’s Sunday Angelus, the Pope once again expressed sympathies to the victims in Ukraine as well as horror over the killing of children, innocents, and unarmed civilians.
“In the name of God, let the cries of those who suffer be heard and let the bombings and attacks cease!” he said.
“Let there be a real and decisive focus on negotiation, and let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe. In the name of God, I ask you: stop this massacre!”
His calls follow reports that Russia left the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, named after the Virgin Mary, in ruins including a maternity hospital and a mosque last Wednesday.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called it
“the worst humanitarian catastrophe on the planet.”
Despite Ukraine repeatedly declaring the city-port as a humanitarian corridor, Russian troops shelled the city claiming it was occupied by fighters.
Last Sunday, Francis said that what was happening in Ukraine is no longer
“just a military operation” but a war that had unleashed “rivers of blood and tears”.
Tags: #Ukraine, #PopeFrancis, #Mariupol, #humanitariancrisis, #Russia