Pope Francis says ‘slaughters and atrocities’ are being committed every day in Ukraine

Pope calls invasion “senseless massacre” and calls on world leaders to put an end to it

Zaina Alibhai
Sunday 20 March 2022 15:55 GMT
<p>Pope Francis has spoken out about the devastation in Ukraine  </p>

Pope Francis has spoken out about the devastation in Ukraine

Pope Francis has described the war in Ukraine as a “senseless massacre” as he called on world leaders to put an end to it.

During his weekly Sunday address, Francis shared his concerns over the “repugnant war” which has raged on for three weeks although did not mention Russia by name.

“The violent aggression against Ukraine is unfortunately not slowing down,” he told the thousands in St Peter’s Square.

“It is a senseless massacre where every day slaughters and atrocities are being repeated. There is no justification for this.

“I beg all the players in the international community to truly commit themselves to stopping this repugnant war.”

The pope also warned against the risk of human trafficking as millions flee Ukraine to safety in surrounding countries.

“Let’s think about these women, these children, who are without work, separated from their husbands. They will be sought by the vultures of society. Please. Let’s protect them.”

Scenes of devastation continue to emerge from the war torn country

Pope Francis on Friday denounced Russia’s “perverse abuse of power” over Ukraine who, he said, were being attacked in their identity, history and tradition, and were defending their land.

His comments marked a strong assertion of Ukraine’s right to exist as a sovereign state and to defend itself against Russia’s invasion.

The pontiff has been explicit in his objection to Russia’s invasion of the country, previously issuing a plea to Vladmir Putin himself to stop the massacre.

The war has caused a humanitarian crisis

Addressing the crowds in the Vatican City on March 13, he called on the Russian president to stop his “barbaric” attack on Ukraine lest the city be “reduced to cemeteries”.

“Let the cries of those who suffer be heard, and let the bombings and attacks ceased. In the name of God, I ask you, stop this massacre.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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