Pope Francis condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a series of tweets Sunday, marking the pontiff’s most pointed statement toward the Russia government’s “barbarism” and “unacceptable armed aggression.”
While Pope Francis has often called for peace amid the Ukraine invasion, he had refrained from directly criticizing Russia. However, on Saturday, Pope Francis tweeted, “Never war! Think first about the children, about those who are deprived of the hope of a dignified life: dead or wounded children, orphans, children who play with the remnant of war.” He pleaded, “In the name of God, stop!”
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 12, 2022
On Sunday, the Pope renewed his calls for peace in the region on social media while also delivering his most critical words on the invasion.
“The city that bears the name of the Virgin Mary, Mariupol, has become a city martyred by the ruinous war that is devastating Ukraine,” Pope Francis wrote.
“Before the barbarism of killing children and innocent and defenseless citizens, no strategic reasons hold: the only thing to be done is to cease the unacceptable armed aggression before cities are reduced to cemeteries.”
Before the barbarism of killing children and innocent and defenceless citizens, no strategic reasons hold: the only thing to be done is to cease the unacceptable armed aggression before cities are reduced to cemeteries. #LetsPrayTogether #Ukraine #Peace
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 13, 2022
On Feb. 26, Pope Francis called Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to voice his “spiritual support” for the country and his hopes of a ceasefire. The pontiff also visited Russia’s embassy in Rome.
He continued Sunday, “With an aching heart I add my voice to that of the common people, who implore the end of the war. In the name of God, listen to the cry of those who suffer, and put an end to the bombings and the attacks!”