Pope laments UN powerless in war in Ukraine as he reflects on Malta visit

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Pope Francis at his General Audience focusing on Malta notes how “the dominant logic are the strategies of the most powerful countries to affirm their own interests.” Malta, he says, represents the rights and power of the ‘small’ nations that should lead toward another logic of respect and freedom that is opposed to the colonization of the most powerful.

Pope Francis focused his audience catechesis on his weekend journey to Malta, and underscored how the “old story” of competition between greater powers has continued to today despite attempts to establish lasting peace after World War II. The war in Ukraine today has made us witnesses of “the importance of the United Nations,” he observed.

Pope Francis, standing between Italian priest Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza (L) and Argentinian priest Monsignor Luis Maria Rodrigo Ewart (R), shows a national flag of Ukraine that was sent to him from the Ukrainian town of Bucha, during the weekly general audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall, in Vatican City, 06 April 2022. EPA-EFE/ETTORE FERRARI

He said this in the context of describing how Malta lies in a strategic location between Europe and Africa, and close to Asia, making it a place where peoples from around the world meet. And while Malta, rich in history and civilization, represents a logic that should characterize our world with respect, freedom and peaceful coexistence, the dominating logic of colonization of the most powerful still prevails today.

Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned “the massacre of Bucha’ and held up a Ukrainian flag that was sent to him from the town where tied bodies shot at close range, a mass grave and other signs of executions were found.

“Recent news from the war in Ukraine, instead of bringing relief and hope, brought new atrocities, such as the massacre of Bucha,” he said at the end of his weekly audience.

“Cruelty that is increasingly horrendous, even against civilians, defenceless women and children. They are victims whose innocent blood cries out up to heaven and implores: ‘Stop this war!'” he said.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Western allegations Russian forces committed war crimes by executing civilians in Bucha were a “monstrous forgery” aimed at denigrating the Russian army.

“Yesterday, precisely from Bucha, they brought me this flag,” he said, unfolding it and holding it up for the audience of several thousand, which broke into applause. The flag looked darkened and stained and had writing on it.

“It comes from the war, precisely from that martyred city, Bucha,” he said, before asking a group of children war refugees who arrived on Tuesday from Ukraine to come up to him.

“These children had to flee in order to arrive in a safe land. This is the fruit of war. Let’s not forget them and let’s not forget the Ukrainian people,” he said, before giving each child a gift of a chocolate Easter egg.

Read more via Vatican News

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