A Ukrainian police officer hugs his son before leaving to fight the Russian invasion A Ukrainian police officer hugs his son before leaving to fight the Russian invasion  (REUTERS)

All wars are against children

A Russian bombing destroys a children’s hospital in Ukraine, and shows that the hatred of the great never spares the little ones, since children continue to suffer and die in many parts of the world, such as in Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Mali. Herod still prowls the world and kills children without mercy.

By Sergio Centofanti

Wars affect everyone, but the primary victims are always children.

The bombing of a pediatric hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol is one of the many examples of the inhumanity of war.

The innocence of children's eyes in front of the mystery of evil, discovered too early, reveals the terrible atrocity of conflict. The wickedness of adults never spares children.

The Bible shows us how far the hatred of adults against the enemy can go: "Blessed the one who seizes your children and smashes them against the rock” (Psalm 137).

‘Let the little ones live!’

Children are all the same around the world, whether in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Mali, or Myanmar, as in all the wars throughout history.

Children continue to die, flee, and be used and exploited in a myriad of ways.

One example is little Alan Kurdi, lying lifeless on a Turkish beach fleeing the conflict in Syria in 2015; his deafening silence continues to shout to humanity: "No more wars! Let the little ones live!"

Modern-day Herodian massacres

Herod is still alive and prowls the world seeking to inflict new massacres on the innocent: "A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more" (Mt 2:18).

In Irpin, near Kyiv, a child of about two-years-old cries loudly in the arms of his soldier father who is leaving to fight.

His tiny fists beat on his father's helmet, as he prepares to leave. The toddler doesn't know what war is or why there is a war; he is too young, but he refuses to be consoled because his father is leaving.

Healing power of love and prayer

Children who grow up with war draw bombs and missiles.

Faced with such cruelty, our faith falters.

Only love can heal trauma and hatred, and make us pray again with the innocence of children: "I have stilled my soul. Like a weaned child to its mother, weaned is my soul” (Psalm 131).

10 March 2022, 09:55