Pope decries 'barbaric' attacks in Ukraine, prays for end to war
By Deborah Castellano Lubov
Pope Francis has appealed for dialogue and an end to the war in "dear and tormented Ukraine, which continues to be scourged by barbaric attacks."
After praying the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis made this appeal on the 29 June Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
"Every day," the Pope reflected, "I carry in my heart the dear and tormented Ukraine, which continues to be scourged by barbaric attacks, such as the one that struck the Kremenchuk shopping centre."
Praying for an end to the war
At least 18 people were killed on Monday in what Kyiv said was a direct Russian missile strike against the busy shopping centre in Kremenchuk.
The G7 called the strike a Russian war crime, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of directly targeting civilians.
Moscow on Tuesday rejected those accounts, saying it had hit a legitimate military target in the city, and that the shopping centre was not in use.
The Holy Father called for nations to come to the assistance of the Ukrainian people, "who are suffering so much."
Not a 'fad' to protect Creation, a responsibility
Separately, the Pope also appealed for protecting the environment following serious fires that broke out in Rome in recent days, as the Italian capital smoulders in extreme heat.
Pointing out that "in many places, drought is now a serious problem, which is causing serious damage to production activities and the environment," the Pope expressed his hope "that the necessary measures will be put in place to deal with these emergencies and to prevent future emergencies."
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