The Pope Calls for Peace in Ukraine

At the Vatican’s first major Easter service since the pandemic, Francis condemns nuclear weapons.

Pope Francis leaving his Easter address.Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Pope Francis called for peace in Ukraine in an Easter address before a crowd of tens of thousands in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, in the first such gathering to mark the holiday since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We have seen all too much blood, all too much violence. Our hearts, too, have been filled with fear and anguish, as so many of our brothers and sisters have had to lock themselves away to be safe from bombing,” the Catholic church’s leader said in calling for a cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia. “May the leaders of nations hear people’s plea for peace,” he said.

The pope also warned against going down a road that could produce nuclear war, quoting Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell’s 1955 manifesto against nuclear weapons: “Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war?”

While Francis was speaking about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he continued to decline to call it an invasion or to condemn specific aggressors. Instead, he called for general peace and an end to violence, while alluding to Russia’s role by describing Ukraine as being “dragged” into a “sacrilege” without pegging Russia as the instigator.

The pope has been more explicit in criticizing how global powers treat refugees. On Friday, he told an Italian TV station that “the refugees are divided. First-class, second-class, by skin color, whether you come from a developed country or a non-developed one,” adding, “We are racists. And that’s bad.”

Since the start of the invasion, Ukrainian refugees have been welcomed into countries like Hungary, which had previously aggressively tamped down on refugees from Syria and elsewhere. While Francis praised countries for welcoming Ukrainians, he said he hoped the same support would be offered to refugees from other countries.  

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate