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Searching for possible peace

· The Pope assures the Holy See's closeness to the Bishops of Ukraine ·

Applying “the agreements reached by mutual accord”, respecting “the principle of international legality”, observing the cease-fire and “conditions to avoid resuming hostilities”. This is the list of Pope Francis' requests for all those involved in the war in Ukraine which is for several months “continues to claim numerous innocent victims and to cause great suffering to the entire population”. This was the Holy Father's appeal for peace during his audience with the Bishops of Ukraine on their visit “ad limina Apostolorum” on Friday, 20 February.

The Holy Father emphasized the Holy See's personal closeness. “On the national level”, he affirmed, “you are full citizens of your country, and so you have the right to express, even in the common way, your thought on its destiny”. Not “in the sense of promoting a concrete political agenda”, he said, but in the “indication and re-affirmation of the values that constitute the coagulating element of Ukrainian society, persevering in the tireless pursuit of harmony and of the common good, even in the face of grave and complex difficulties”.

For their part bishops are called to commit themselves to “listen attentively to the voices that come from the territories”. Because, Francis said, through “listening to your people, you will be attentive to the values that characterize it: encounter, collaboration, the ability to resolve controversies. In a few words: the search for possible peace”.

The integral text of the Holy Father's address in Italian

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 26, 2018

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