ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Pope backs Ukrainians, denounces ‘perverse abuse of power’ in invasion

Pope Francis attends his weekly general audience at the Paul VI hall on February 23, 2022 in the Vatican. (Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)
Pope Francis attends his weekly general audience at the Paul VI hall on February 23, 2022 in the Vatican. (Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

Pope Francis denounces the “perverse abuse of power” on display in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

He calls for aid to Ukrainians who he says have been attacked in their “identity, history and tradition” and are “defending their land.”

Francis’s comments, in a message today to a gathering of European Catholic representatives, mark some of his strongest yet in asserting Ukraine’s right to exist as a sovereign state and to defend itself against Russia’s invasion.

It comes just days after Francis told the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, that the concept of a “just war” was obsolete since wars are never justifiable and that pastors must preach peace, not politics.

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