Pope Francis Prays for Peace in Ukraine and Gaza Strip During Sunday Prayers at Vatican

Pope Francis expresses deep concern over conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, urging dialogue and diplomacy to end the suffering. As a global religious leader, his calls for peace carry significant moral weight.

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Muthana Al-Najjar
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Pope Francis Prays for Peace in Ukraine and Gaza Strip During Sunday Prayers at Vatican

Pope Francis Prays for Peace in Ukraine and Gaza Strip During Sunday Prayers at Vatican

During his Sunday prayers at the Vatican on April 12, 2024, Pope Francis expressed deep concern and sorrow over the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip. The Pope urged for dialogue, negotiation, and diplomacy to prevail over the "logic of assertion" in resolving these crises.

Pope Francis specifically mentioned the "martyred Ukraine" and his hope that the people of Israel and Palestine will soon be able to stop suffering. He has been making similar appeals for peace in these regions almost every Sunday since the Russian offensive in Ukraine began in February 2022.

The Pope noted the devastating impact of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, where Palestinian health authorities report over 34,100 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed and nearly 77,000 injured since October 7. The hostilities have displaced 85% of Gaza's population and damaged or destroyed 60% of the enclave's infrastructure, leading to acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine.

Why this matters: The Pope's call for peace comes amid heightened tensions and escalating violence in the Middle East and the ongoing war in Ukraine. As a prominent global religious leader, Pope Francis' prayers and appeals carry significant moral weight and draw attention to the pressing need for diplomatic solutions to end the suffering in these conflict-ridden regions.

The Pope's comments also come as tensions continue to rise between Iran and Israel, with Iran claiming it had "taught Israel a lesson" in retaliation for an earlier strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria. President Biden met with G7 leaders, who condemned Iran's "unprecedented attack" against Israel and reaffirmed their commitment to Israel's security.

Pope Francis reiterated his daily prayers for peace, hoping the two peoples in Palestine and Israel can end their suffering. He emphasized the importance of prioritizing dialogue and diplomacy over the claims of war. The Pope also remembered Father Matteo Pettinari, a Missionary of the Consolata who tragically passed away in a car accident in Ivory Coast, describing him as a "tireless missionary who left a profound legacy of generous service."

Key Takeaways

  • Pope Francis expressed deep concern over conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza Strip.
  • Pope urged for dialogue, diplomacy to resolve crises, not "logic of assertion".
  • Pope noted devastating impact of Israeli onslaught on Gaza, with high casualties.
  • Pope's call for peace amid heightened tensions between Iran and Israel.
  • Pope remembered a missionary who passed away in Ivory Coast accident.