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Pope Francis calls for negotiations to End Russia-Ukraine War

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In an interview with CBS News, Pope Francis called on all nations in conflict to negotiate for peace. Although he addressed all nations in general, he spoke particularly about the war in Ukraine. The interview, conducted by journalist Norah O'Donnell at the Pope's residence in the Vatican, touched upon a range of pressing global issues, including the dire impacts of war on children.

Photo credit: Sunguk Kim

Photo credit: Sunguk Kim

Highlights

By Catholic Online (California Network)
4/25/2024 (2 months ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Pope Francis, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, negotiated peace, children in war

The full interview is slated for release on May 19, but excerpts broadcast on April 24 highlighted Pope Francis' deep concerns about the effects of warfare. When asked directly about a message for Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose actions have deeply affected Ukraine, Pope Francis responded, "Please, countries at war, all of them... Stop the war. Seek to negotiate. Seek peace. A negotiated peace is better than an endless war."

Pope Francis also shared his personal engagement with the plight of war-affected populations, particularly children. He recounted his daily calls to a parish in Gaza, where he communicates with about 600 residents to hear their harrowing experiences firsthand. "It's very hard. Very, very hard. And food comes in, but they have to struggle to get it. It's very hard," he lamented.

The Pope's concern extended to Ukrainian children as well, noting how the war has stolen their smiles, a situation he described as "very serious." These interactions underline the pontiff's continued focus on the human costs of conflict, especially its brutal impact on the youngest and most vulnerable.

Pope Francis also spoke to those who feel alienated from the Catholic Church. He offered a message of inclusivity, affirming that "there is always a place" within the church, which he described as "more than a church building."

The Pope's comments reflect his ongoing advocacy for peace and dialogue as the best solutions to global conflicts. This stance was clarified following an earlier controversy where his comments about the Ukraine conflict were misconstrued as a call for surrender. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni later explained that Pope Francis was advocating for "a cessation of hostilities and a truce achieved with the courage to negotiate," rather than an outright surrender. This clarification aligns with the Pope's consistent message urging global leaders and communities to pursue peace through negotiation and understanding.

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