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Pope deplores ‘macabre’ Ukraine war and ‘barbaric’ bombing of Mariupol – POLITICO

On Sunday, Pope Francis described the war in Ukraine as a “macabre regression of humanity” and said the city of Mariupol had been “barbarically bombarded and destroyed.”

The pope, however, did not specifically say that Russia was responsible for the war or the attack on it Mariupol – in line with the Vatican’s controversial policy of avoiding direct criticism of Moscow in the hope of keeping the space open for meditation.

In a 15-minute speech to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, the pope said his “thoughts immediately go to the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the city of Mary, barbarically bombarded and destroyed.” For Catholics, the month of May is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God.

Shortly after his address, the pope then took to Twitter to spread his message Ukrainian, Russian and English.

The pope also renewed calls for the establishment of “safe humanitarian corridors” for people trapped in Mariupol. Over the weekend, both Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that a small group of people managed to escape the besieged city Azovstal steelworks. But about 1,000 people are still reported to be trapped inside.

Describing the conflict as “a macabre regression of humanity”, the pope also wondered aloud whether there was a real will to avoid an ongoing military and verbal escalation and to “curb weapons.”

“I suffer and cry when I think of the sufferings of the Ukrainian people, especially the weakest, the elderly, the children,” he said.

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