(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has directly addressed Russian leader Vladimir Putin, begging him to end the war in Ukraine, described as a “spiral of violence and death.”
Speaking before thousands of people in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, the pope warned that the Ukraine war crisis could end up in a nuclear escalation, which could have uncontrollable consequences for all humankind.
As he urged Putin to think of the fate of his people should escalation occur, Pope Francis also condemned Russia’s recent annexation of four partly occupied regions in southern and southeast Ukraine.
“[I am haunted by the] rivers of blood and tears that have been spilled in these months,” Francis declared.
“My appeal goes above all to the president of the Russian Federation, begging him to stop this spiral of violence and death, even out of love for his own people,” the pope stated, as cited by Reuters and Newsmax.
“On the other side, pained by the enormous suffering of the Ukrainian population following the aggression it suffered, I address an equally hopeful appeal to the president of Ukraine to be open to a serious peace proposal,” he added.
The pope’s official Twitter profile later posted tweets of his peace appeals in Russian and Ukrainian.
Francis’s speech on the war in Ukraine came just a couple of days after Putin declared the annexation of almost one-fifth of the Ukrainian territory, or about 40,000 square miles.
The pope’s condemnation of the annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson saw him emphasize all nations’ right to “sovereign and territorial integrity.”
“I strongly deplore the grave situation that has been created in the last few days, with more actions that are contrary to the principles of international law,” Frances stated concerning Putin’s annexation.
“This, in fact, increases the risk of a nuclear escalation to the point of fearing uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences on a global level,” he said.
The pope called for respecting the rights of ethnic Russians living in Ukraine. However, he also stressed the Russian atrocities in the war so far by declaring that the world had been learning about Ukraine’s geography by hearing the names of towns where the Russians have committed massacres, such as Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, Izium, Zaporizhzhia, and others.
One unnamed official of the Vatican said Pope Francis’ address on the Russian invasion of Ukraine was reminiscent of a peace appeal that Pope John XXIII made on the radio in 1962 at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis that nearly morphed into a nuclear war.
Pope Francis for the first time directly begged Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the "spiral of violence and death" in Ukraine. https://t.co/k6FjwP4z50
— Newsmax (@newsmax) October 2, 2022