Pope Francis Condemns Russian Invasion of Ukraine But Does Not Name Putin in Easter Sunday Mass

Pope Francis condemned the war in Ukraine but did not name Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin in his Easter Sunday address on April 17.

Addressing around 50,000 people in St. Peter’s Square in his twice-yearly Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world), the pope implicitly criticized the Russia’s “cruel and senseless” invasion of Ukraine, calling it an “Easter of war.”

“We have seen all too much blood, all too much violence. Our hearts, too, have been filled with fear and anguish, as so many of our brothers and sisters have had to lock themselves away in order to be safe from bombing,” the pope said in the first outdoor Easter Mass after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.

“Let there be a decision for peace. May there be an end to the flexing of muscles while people are suffering. Please, please, let us not get used to war,” the pope further said.

The pope also brought up concerns over nuclear war, calling on world leaders to “listen to that troubling question posed by scientists almost 70 years ago: ‘Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war?’” — a reference to a 1955 declaration by scientists dubbed as the Russell-Einstein Manifesto.

The 85-year-old pontiff also thanked the countries who had taken in refugees from Ukraine.

The pope has previously rejected calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation,” which is the term used by Russia.

The pope has previously called the war “unjustified aggression.”

On April 17, the pope also called for reconciling between Palestinians and Israelis and among the people of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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