During his weekly Sunday mass on October 2, Pope Francis reiterated his appeal for a ceasefire in Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, citing the recent escalation and increasing nuclear threats – and condemned Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions which followed a series of sham referendums in the second half of September.

“In the name of God, in the name of the sense of humanity, I renew my appeal for an immediate ceasefire”, he told worshippers at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“My appeal is directed mainly at the President of the Russian Federation, begging him to stop for the love of his people”, he said, before urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to be “open to serious peace proposals.”

“Certain actions cannot be justified, ever,” Pope Francis added, “What to say about the fact that humanity is once again facing a nuclear threat? It’s absurd.”

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In his address, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church also said that the invasion of Ukraine had morphed into a “devastating, dangerous and concerning conflict” and a “wound that keeps on bleeding.”

The Pope concluded by urging the international community to do “whatever they can” to promote dialogue between Kyiv and Moscow, with the aim to stopping what he labelled an “inhumane tragedy”.

“The war is an error and a horror,” he added.

The mass marks the first time that the Pope has directly appealed to President Putin since his illegal invasion, imploring him to stop the “spiral of violence and death,” and saying he is haunted by “rivers of blood and tears”.

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Condemning the annexation, Pope Francis said: “I strongly deplore the grave situation that has been created in the last few days, with more actions that are contrary to the principles of international law.”

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