Pope Francis assured today that all wars are “cruel and senseless”, but that the one that has been raging for more than two months in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion “has a larger dimension and threatens the entire world”.
“Even before the pandemic ended, the whole world was faced with a new and tragic challenge: the war in Ukraine. After the end of the Second World War there has never been a lack of regional wars, to the point that I have often spoken of a third world war in pieces,” the pontiff told participants in the plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
“However, this war, as cruel and senseless as any other, has a larger dimension and threatens the entire world and cannot fail to awaken the conscience of every Christian and every Church,” he added.
“What have the Churches done and can they do to contribute to the development of a world community, capable of achieving fraternity from the peoples and nations that live social friendship”, he asked.
The pope, who has condemned the war in Ukraine on numerous occasions, has shown the Vatican’s willingness to “do everything possible” to help achieve a peaceful solution.
He has even asked for a meeting in Moscow with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to ask him to stop the conflict, but he has not yet received a response, according to what he pointed out in a recent interview in the newspaper “Corriere della It will be”.
Francis then explained that he has spoken with the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelensky, but has not yet spoken with Putin, and that after 20 days of war he asked the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to send the Russian president the message that he was ready to go to Moscow.
Today, in his speech before the members of the Council for Christian Unity, Bergoglio stressed that “in the face of the barbarity of war, this longing for unity must be nourished again” and that “ignoring the divisions between Christians, by custom or resignation means tolerating that contamination of hearts that makes the ground fertile for conflict.”
“The proclamation of the gospel of peace, that gospel that disarms hearts before armies, will only be more credible if it is proclaimed by Christians finally reconciled in Jesus, Prince of Peace; Christians animated by his message of universal love and brotherhood, who goes beyond the confines of your own community and nation,” he said.
In this sense, he stressed that the celebration in 2025 of the 1,700th anniversary of the First Council of Nicaea, coinciding with the next Jubilee, will serve to “lead to new concrete steps towards the goal of fully restoring Christian unity.”