July 22, 2024

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Pope Francis condemns “atrocities that have become increasingly heinous” and raises the Ukrainian flag

Pope Francis condemns “atrocities that have become increasingly heinous” and raises the Ukrainian flag

Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned atrocities in Ukraine, including against civilians. He also referred to the “Bucha massacre” before kissing the Ukrainian flag from that city near Kyiv.

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“Recent news of the war in Ukraine shows new atrocities, such as the Botha massacre, which are becoming increasingly gruesome, including against civilians, women and children who cannot defend themselves,” the Pope said in his daily audience at the Vatican. He again called for an end to the war. A few minutes later, Francis raised the Ukrainian flag in front of the thousands of believers and some Ukrainian children present. “This flag comes from the war, from this martyred city, Bucha,” he said, kissing the black flag.

This statement is the Pope’s first reaction since dozens of civilian bodies were recently discovered in Bhutia following the withdrawal of Russian forces. This discovery angered the international community and increased sanctions against Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accuses Russian forces of being behind the massacre, and the Kremlin says the tape was taken by Kyiv. (Read more below the video)

During his reception, the Pope also expressed his regret for the “impairment of international organizations” in the face of the conflict. “After World War II, we tried to lay the foundation for a new history of peace, but unfortunately, the old history of major world powers competing with each other continued,” he said. “And in the war in Ukraine we see the impotence of international organizations.”

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On Sunday, the Pope announced that he would be available to help negotiate a ceasefire after returning from Malta. He is also ready to travel to Kyiv.