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The pope says Mariupol is ‘barbarically bombarded’, implicitly criticizing Russia

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Pope Francis on Sunday described the war in Ukraine as a “macabre regression of humanity” that makes him “suffer and cry”, and called for humanitarian corridors to evacuate people trapped in the Mariupol steelworks.

Speaking to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his dinner blessing, Frans again implicitly criticized Russia.

In Roman Catholicism, the month of May is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. Francis prayed for month-long prayers for peace in Ukraine.

POPE SAYS HE IS WILLING TO DO ‘EVERYTHING’ TO HELP END WAR; POSTS SECOND MEETING WITH RUSSIAN ORTHOUSE LEADER

Pope Francis leads a Mass at St. Peter's Church on April 14, 2022 in the Vatican City, Vatican.

Pope Francis leads a Mass at St. Peter’s Church on April 14, 2022 in the Vatican City, Vatican.
(Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images)

“My thoughts immediately go to the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, the city of Mary, barbarically bombarded and destroyed,” he said of the mostly Russian-controlled southeastern port city, which is named after Mary.

Francis, 85, has not specifically mentioned Russia or its president, Vladimir Putin, since the start of the conflict on February 24, but he has left little doubt as to which side he has criticized, using terms such as “unjustified aggression” and “invasion”. “. “and deplores the atrocities committed against civilians.

“I suffer and cry when I think of the sufferings of the Ukrainian people, especially the weakest, the elderly, the children,” he said, citing “terrible news about children being deported and deported.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin
(Yuri Kochetkov / Pool)

Ukraine has said that Moscow has forcibly deported thousands of people to Russia. In comments released Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said more than 1 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine to Russia since February 24. Lavrov said that 2.8 million people in Ukraine have asked to be evacuated to Russia.

Moscow describes its action in Ukraine as a “special operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” its neighbor. Ukraine and the West say this is an unfounded pretext for war.

POPE COMPARES RUSSIAN INVASION OF UKRAINE WITH KAIN AND ABEL

Francis called for safe humanitarian corridors for them at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, where troops and civilians are sheltered.

Pope Francis arrives to attend his weekly audience in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican on April 13, 2022.

Pope Francis arrives to attend his weekly audience in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican on April 13, 2022.
(Getty Images via Massimo Valicchia / NurPhoto)

He also questioned whether everything possible had been done to bring the fighting to an end through dialogue.

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“As we watch a macabre regression of humanity, I ask myself, along with many other tormented people, whether peace is really being sought, whether there is really a will to avoid a continued military and verbal escalation, whether everything is being done. make the weapons silent, “Francis said.

He urged his listeners to “not give in to the logic of violence, to the perverse arms spiral”, but to choose the path of dialogue.

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