Pope Francis calls for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine

The Pope said: “I invite everyone to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace - Photo:canva.comThe Pope said: “I invite everyone to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace - Photo:canva.com

In his General Audience on Wednesday February 23, Pope Francis called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine. The Pope said: “I invite everyone to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace. I encourage believers in a special way to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace protect the world from the folly of war.”

The Pope said: “I would like to appeal to those with political responsibilities to do a serious examination of conscience before God, who is the God of peace and not of war, who is the father of all and not only of some, who wants us to be brothers and sisters and not enemies.”

Pope Francis urged world leaders to “refrain from any action that would cause even more suffering to the people, destabilising the coexistence between nations and discrediting international law.”

During his General Audience the Pope said that due to the “alarming” developments of Russian President Vladimir Putin recognizing the independence of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, “once again, the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests.”

Within a very short time of Pope Francis pleading for peace in the Ukraine violence has already escalated in the Ukraine.  

The Pope has called on everyone across the world to combat the “diabolical insistence, the diabolical senselessness of violence” with a day of prayer and fasting on Ash Wednesday.

Columban Fr Kevin O’Neill is a member of the Columban Peace, Ecology and Justice team, Columban Mission Centre, Essendon.

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