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“War is Madness, Please Stop”: Pope Francis Calls For Peace in Ukraine

Pope Francis on Sunday made a heartfelt plea for an end to the fighting in Ukraine that has left what he called “rivers of blood and tears” flowing in the country.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the largest European war since World War II. In the 10 days since Russia began its invasion, an estimated 1.5 million people have fled the country., according to the U.N. refugee agency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched what he called a “special military operation” in the early morning hours of February 24. The pope rejected Russia’s use of the term.

“This is not just a military operation, but a war, which sows death, destruction, and misery,” Pope Francis said. “The number of victims is increasing, as are the people fleeing, especially mothers and children.”

In his address, the pope pleaded for diplomatic negotiations to end the assault, adding that he hopes “common sense prevails.” The pope also noted that two cardinals have gone to Ukraine to assist those in need.

“This presence of two cardinals there is the presence not only of the pope but of all the Christian people who want to get closer and say ‘war is madness’,” Francis said. “Please stop, look at this cruelty.”

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