Pope Francis sends cardinals to Ukraine, where ‘rivers of blood and tears flow’

Katie Yoder By Katie Yoder for CNA

 

Pope Francis delivers his Angelus address at the Vatican, March. 6, 2022. / Vatican Media.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Mar 6, 2022 / 06:45 am (CNA).

Pope Francis condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expressed his solidarity with the country on Sunday.

“Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine,” he began his Angelus address. “It is not merely a military operation, but a war, which sows death, destruction, and misery.”

The 85-year-old pontiff spoke to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square in Rome following the Angelus, a Marian prayer, on March 6. The faithful gathered to pray with the pontiff, including many from Ukraine, who held up the blue and yellow flag of their country in the bright sunshine for all to see.

People raise the Ukrainian flag at Pope Francis' Angelus adrdess at the Vatican, March 6, 2022. Vatican Media.
People raise the Ukrainian flag at Pope Francis’ Angelus adrdess at the Vatican, March 6, 2022. Vatican Media.

His words echoed those of Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Two days after Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, on Feb. 26, Shevchuk quoted his predecessor, the late Cardinal Josyf Slipyj, as describing the “mountains of corpses and rivers of blood” after Ukraine fell under Soviet rule.

Pope Francis announced his desire to help the Ukrainian people achieve peace.

“The Holy See is ready to do everything, to put itself at the service of this peace,” he said, announcing that two cardinals recently traveled to Ukraine “to serve the people, to help.”

He named the two cardinals as papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski and Cardinal Michael Czerny, interim prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

“The presence of the 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! Stop, please! Look at this cruelty!’” Pope Francis exclaimed.

He repeated his call from the previous week for humanitarian corridors to provide relief to Ukrainians.

“The number of victims is increasing, as are the people fleeing, especially mothers and children. The need for humanitarian assistance in that troubled country is growing dramatically by the hour,” he warned.

“I make a heartfelt appeal for humanitarian corridors to be genuinely secured, and for aid to be guaranteed and access facilitated to the besieged areas,” he added, “in order to offer vital relief to our brothers and sisters oppressed by bombs and fear.”

The pope thanked two specific groups of people aiding the Ukrainian people: those welcoming refugees and local journalists.

“I would also like to thank the journalists who put their lives at risk to provide information,” he expressed. “Thank you, brothers and sisters, for this service! A service that allows us to be close to the tragedy of that population and enables us to assess the cruelty of a war.”

While he did not name particular journalists or countries aiding refugees, Pope Francis has, in the past, thanked the Polish people for their generosity in greeting those fleeing from Ukraine.

Since the start of the invasion, Pope Francis has called for peace. He recently urged Catholics worldwide to pray and fast for Ukraine on Ash Wednesday, which marked the beginning of Lent on March 2.

On Feb. 25, he visited the Russian Embassy to the Holy See, located near the Vatican. Catholic author George Weigel told Catholic World Report that the pope spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the visit. That same day, he called Shevchuk to express his support for peace.

The following day, Pope Francis announced his sorrow at the situation in Ukraine in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

At the Angelus, he renewed his call for the attacks to end.

“Above all, I implore that the armed attacks cease and that negotiation — and common sense — prevail. And that international law be respected once again!” he declared.

Acknowledging the flags in the square below him, he called on the faithful to pray with him another Marian prayer: the Hail Mary.

“Let us pray together, as brothers and sisters, to Our Lady, Queen of Ukraine,” he said.

A flag asks Pope Francis to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to Mary at the Sunday Angelus, March 6, 2022. Vatican Media.
A flag asks Pope Francis to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to Mary at the Sunday Angelus, March 6, 2022. Vatican Media.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Catholic News Agency 4367 Articles
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Pope Francis sends cardinals to Ukraine, where ‘rivers of blood and tears flow’ – Via Nova Media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*