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Pope Francis’ appeal at Wednesday’s General Audience

Concrete efforts to end the conflict

A view shows a grave of a local resident near buildings damaged by a Russian military strike, as ...
24 February 2023

As the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine approaches, Pope Francis renews his appeal for “concrete efforts to end the conflict, to reach a ceasefire and to start peace negotiations”.

During his General Audience in the Vatican on Ash Wednesday morning, 22 February, the Pope turned his thoughts to the people of the country, who have been suffering the effects of war for almost an entire year.

“Dear brothers and sisters, the day after tomorrow, on 24 February, it will be one year since the invasion of Ukraine, since the beginning of this absurd and cruel war. A sad anniversary! The toll of dead, wounded, refugees and displaced persons, destruction, economic and social damage speaks for itself. Will the Lord be able to forgive so many crimes and so much violence? He is the God of peace. Let us remain close to the tormented Ukrainian people, who continue to suffer, and let us ask ourselves: has everything possible been done to stop the war? I appeal to those who have authority over nations to make a concrete commitment to end the conflict, to achieve a cease-fire and to start peace negotiations. A [victory] built on rubble can never be a true victory!

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