Pope begs Putin to end ‘spiral of violence, death’
VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has for first time directly appealed to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to stop “spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine, saying he is haunted by “rivers of blood and tears”. Head of Catholic Church also condemned annexation of four regions of Ukraine, saying it risked nuclear escalation and urged Putin to think of his own people during an address dedicated to Ukraine in St Peter’s Square. One Vatican official said impassioned speech was so sombre it was reminiscent of a radio peace appeal by Pope John XXIII in 1962 during Cuban Missile Crisis.
Francis has often condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and death it has caused, but it was first time he made a direct personal appeal to Putin. “My appeal goes above all to president of Russian Federation, begging him to stop this spiral of violence and death, even out of love for his own people,” Francis said. He also called on Ukrainian President VolodymyrZelenskyy to consider proposals to halt fighting.
Published in The Daily National Courier, October, 03 2022