Pope Francis denounces Russia’s “repugnant war” against Ukraine as a “cruel and sacrilegious inhumanity.”
In some of his strongest words yet since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, Francis tells thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square that every day brings more atrocities in a “senseless massacre.”
“There is no justification for this,” Francis says, in an apparent reference to Russia, which has sought to justify its invasion as vital for its own defense. But Francis again stops short of naming Russia as the aggressor. Pontiffs typically have decried wars and their devastating toll on civilians without citing warmongers by name.
Francis also calls on “all actors in the international community” to work toward ending the war. “Again this week, missiles, bombs, rained down on the elderly, children and pregnant mothers,” the pope says. His thoughts, he says, went to the millions who flee. “And I feel great pain for those who don’t even have the chance to escape.”