Pope Francis Prays for ‘Battered Ukraine,’ Urges End to ‘World War’

Pope Francis

ROME — Pope Francis urged prayers for “battered Ukraine” on Wednesday, while appealing for an end to today’s “world war.”

“I do not forget the battered Ukraine,” the pontiff told pilgrims gathered in the Vatican for his weekly general audience, while also noting the presence of several Ukrainian flags waving in the crowd.

“In the face of all the war scenarios of our time, I ask each one to be a builder of peace and to pray that thoughts and projects of concord and reconciliation may spread throughout the world,” he said.

“Today we are experiencing a world war, let us stop please!” he exhorted. “To the Virgin Mary we entrust the victims of every war, of every war, especially the dear Ukrainian population.”

A week ago, Francis told Polish pilgrims that humanity is in the midst of World War III.

“Tomorrow you will remember the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, which so painfully marked the Polish nation,” he said. “Today we are experiencing the third.”

“May the memory of past experiences spur you to cultivate peace in yourselves, in families, and in social and international life,” he concluded.

For the last 8 years Francis has repeatedly asserted that the many regional conflicts around the globe amount to a third world war waged “piecemeal” but only recently has he begun affirming that humanity is in World War III, dropping the “piecemeal” qualifier.

Last April, Pope Francis warned that Russia’s war on Ukraine risks evolving into World War III, and we are “moving towards it as if it were unavoidable.”

In his book Against War: Building a Culture of Peace, Francis declared that from “the beginning of my service as bishop of Rome I have spoken of World War III, saying that we are already living it, though still in pieces.”


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