Pope Francis calls for an ‘Easter truce’ in Ukraine on Palm Sunday 2022

Hannah Brockhaus   By Hannah Brockhaus for CNA

 

Pope Francis on Palm Sunday 2022 / Daniel Ibanez/CNA. See CNA article for full slideshow. 

Vatican City, Apr 10, 2022 / 06:10 am (CNA).

Pope Francis said on Palm Sunday 2022 that nothing is impossible for God, who has the power to end the war in Ukraine, even if it looks like the end is not near. He also urged the laying down of weapons for a permanent “Easter truce.”

At the end of Mass in St. Peter’s Square on April 10, the pope said: “Nothing is impossible for God. He can even bring an end to a war whose end is not in sight, a war that daily places before our eyes heinous massacres and atrocious cruelty committed against defenseless civilians. Let us pray about this.”

Francis’ comments about war were made at the end of Mass, right before he led an estimated 65,000 people in praying the Angelus.

Pope Francis on Palm Sunday 2022. Daniel Ibanez/CNA
Pope Francis on Palm Sunday 2022. Daniel Ibanez/CNA

“In a moment, we will turn to the Blessed Mother with the Angelus Prayer. It was the Angel of the Lord himself who said to Mary in the Annunciation: ‘Nothing is impossible for God,’” the pope said.

Pope Francis reminded pilgrims that Easter is coming soon. “We are preparing to celebrate the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ over sin and death — over sin and death — not over someone and against someone else.”

“Let the weapons be put down,” he urged. “Let the Easter truce begin.”

“But not to provide more weapons and pick up the combat again — no — a truce that will lead to peace, through real negotiation that is even disposed to some sacrifice for the good of the people. In fact, what victory is there in planting a flag on a pile of rubble?” he said.

“But today, there is a war. Why does one want to win like this, according to the way of the world?” Francis continued. “This is only the way to lose. Why not allow Him to win? Christ bore his cross to free us from the dominion of evil. He died so that life, love, peace might reign.”

“Nothing is impossible for God. We entrust this to Him through the intercession of the Virgin Mary.”

Pope Francis on Palm Sunday 2022. Daniel Ibanez/CNA
Pope Francis on Palm Sunday 2022. Daniel Ibanez/CNA

After the prayer and the final blessing of Mass, Pope Francis greeted the crowds as he took a spin around St. Peter’s Square in the popemobile.

Palm Sunday 2022 Mass was Francis’ first public liturgy in St. Peter’s Square in over two years, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his homily, he said “Christ is crucified yet another time” in the folly of war.


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1 Comment

  1. We read that Pope Francis “urged the laying down of weapons for a permanent ‘Easter truce’ and that “[n]othing is impossible for God.” We have historical precedents for what seems naively simplistic…

    Dating from a Church council in France in A.D. 975, the Truce of God restricted warfare, with holidays assigned to several dates and seasons of the year having Christian religious significance. In pre-secularist A.D. 1139 the Second Council of the Lateran even imposed the penalty of excommunication for breaking the truce. Yet, in the trenches of the First World War, also, the guns fell silent on Christmas Eve of 1914. Combatants found themselves singing Christmas carols and sharing camaraderie, first among themselves and then together across the cratered No Man’s Land, not unlike the invaded Ukraine today in the north, east and south.

    And–not to discount the similar and mindless zealotry of jihad–while the medieval Truce was to be applied only between Christian combatants, it also appears in crusader history in the Holy Land. Interludes for gift exchanges and tournaments. Western armies caring for and returning Muslim children captured in battle. And of the Muslims, Oliverisu Scholasticus, a member of a defeated Frankish army, offers this striking report:

    “Who could doubt that such goodness, friendship and charity came from God. Men whose parents, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters had died in agony at our hands, whose lands we took, whom we drove naked from their homes, revived us with their own food when we were dying of hunger, and showered us with kindness even while we were in their power” (Friedrich Heer, The Medieval World, 1963, p. 144).

    So, with the intervention of God, why not something so simple as an Easter truce, and then peace and just restitution for the war crimes and “pile of rubble”?

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