Now 6 months of war: The innocent pay, says Pope

On this six-month anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Pope spoke at length about the suffering caused by war.

The Holy Father speaks about Ukraine in nearly every meeting with the general public, and at the end of today’s Wednesday audience, he made a lengthy appeal, naming some of the specific areas of suffering:

I renew my invitation to implore peace from the Lord for the beloved Ukrainian people who for six months today have been suffering the horror of war. I hope that concrete steps will be taken to put an end to the war and to avert the risk of a nuclear disaster in Zaporizhzhia.

I carry the prisoners in my heart, especially those in fragile conditions, and I ask the competent authorities to work for their release. I think of the children, so many dead… then so many refugees – here in Italy there are many… so many wounded, so many Ukrainian children and Russian children who have become orphans. And being an orphan has no nationality, they have lost their father or their mother, whether they are Russian or Ukrainian.

I think of so much cruelty, so many innocents who are paying for madness, the madness of all sides, because war is madness and no one in war can say: ‘No, I am not mad.’ The madness of war.

I think of that poor girl blown up by a bomb under her car seat in Moscow.

The innocent pay for war, the innocent! Let us think about this reality and say to each other: war is madness.

And those who profit from war and the arms trade are criminals who kill humanity.

And we think of other countries that have been at war for a long time: more than 10 years in Syria; we think of the war in Yemen, where so many children suffer from hunger; we think of the Rohingya who travel the world because of the injustice of being driven from their land.

But today in a special way, six months after the beginning of the war, we think of Ukraine and Russia, I consecrated both countries to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May she, as Mother, turn her gaze on these two beloved countries: May she look upon Ukraine, look upon Russia, and bring us peace! We need peace!

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