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Peace in Ukraine is possible, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis with an Ukrainian bracelet

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media - published on 11/19/22

The pope talks about the need to demilitarize hearts and says the Holy See is following the situation in Ukraine closely.

Pope Francis said he believes that peace between Ukraine and Russia is possible, in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa, published on November 18, 2022. The pontiff also called to “demilitarize hearts” and commented briefly on world hunger and Italian politics. 

In this double-page interview, the head of the Catholic Church talked about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, denouncing once again “the lust for power and the arms trade.”

“When empires weaken, they go to war to feel strong,” he said. He assured that the Holy See follows the evolution of the situation continuously and values “any opening that might lead towards a real ceasefire.”

In addition to humanitarian support to the Ukrainian people and aid to prisoners of war, “we are seeking to develop a network of relationships that favor a rapprochement between the parties, to find solutions,” continued the pope. “I have hope. Let us not give up, peace is possible,” he proclaimed.

“However, it is necessary for everyone to make an effort to demilitarize hearts, starting with their own,” he added. 

The day before the interview was published, on November 17, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, celebrated a Mass for peace in Ukraine in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, as part of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the Holy See.

In the interview, the pontiff also called to not remain indifferent to the “millions” of people suffering from hunger. “This must be a priority,” he said, “those who are fortunate enough to have food in their everyday life should not waste it.”

The Bishop of Rome, who is expected to meet soon with the new Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, also wished the government of the Peninsula “the best.” He expressed his hopes that the opposition will be “collaborative,” calling to have as an objective “the common good, and as the only horizon […] a better future for Italy.”

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