Pope Francis calls on society to ‘abolish’ war amid Russia-Ukraine conflict

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March 27 (UPI) — Pope Francis on Sunday called for society to “abolish” war amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying it destroys not only the present but the future.

During his weekly Angelus address, the pope said that war “worsens everyone’s situation” delivering an appeal to “silence the weapons” and “move seriously toward peace.”

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“Before the danger of self-destruction, may humanity understand that the moment has come to abolish war, to erase it from human history before it erases human history,” he said. “May every political leader reflect and dedicate themselves to this!”

Pope Francis’ comments came as Russia on Sunday claimed responsibility for the destruction of a fuel base near the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

He also referenced statistics from UNICEF, which on Thursday said that more than half of Ukraine’s children had been displaced by the war, which has now carried on more than a month, including 1.8 million who have crossed into neighboring countries and 2.5 million displaced within Ukraine.

“This destroys the future, traumatizing the smallest and most innocent,” Pope Francis said. “This is the bestiality of war, a barbarous and sacrilegious act!”