New visible gesture of support of🇺🇦by Pope Francisco: just several min. ago HolyFather called to🇺🇦Pres. Volod. Zelensky and had very promising talking. Pope said:🇻🇦is praying & doing everything possible for end of war; 🇺🇦repeated that His Holiness is the most expected guest in🇺🇦. pic.twitter.com/4FD8otC8oz
— Andrii Yurash (@AndriiYurash) March 22, 2022
Yurash also wrote in his tweet that Zelenskyy invited the pope, who “is praying and doing everything possible for end of war,” to visit Ukraine. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, has also invited Francis to visit the war-torn capital, calling his presence “key to saving lives and paving the path to peace.”
This is the second time the pope has spoken to the Ukrainian president since the start of the war. On Feb. 27, the pope called Zelenskyy to voice his “most profound pain” for the “suffering caused by the conflict. ”
Two days before that first call, immediately after the Russian military entry into Ukraine, the pope visited the Russian ambassador to the Vatican to personally “express his concern about the war.” Francis also spoke to Orthodox Patriarch Kirill via videoconference on March 16.
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Pope Francis has been vocal in his support for the Ukrainian people, especially the poor and vulnerable who are suffering the most, but has avoided calling out Russia or Russian President Vladimir Putin directly.
“Unfortunately, the violent aggression against Ukraine does not stop, a senseless massacre where every day there is a repetition of slaughter and atrocities,” Francis said during his Sunday prayer service.
“There is no justification for this!” the pope continued, while stressing the importance that the international community “truly commit” to ending the war threatening Europe and the world. He urged parties involved to care for human lives before “any strategy.”
The previous day, Pope Francis visited victims of the war at the Vatican-run Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù in Rome. On Friday, the pope will consecrate for humanity, but especially Russia and Ukraine, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in an effort to bring faithful together to pray for peace.
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This article originally appeared on ReligionNews.com.