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Pope Calls On Russian & Ukraine Leaders To Observe Easter Truce

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Pope Francis in a Palm Sunday address from the Vatican called on Russia and Ukraine to observe an Easter truce following six weeks since the Russian invasion. The Roman Catholic leader has been increasingly vocal in condemning the war.

He said that leaders on both sides must "make some sacrifices for the good of the people" in the message which kicked off Roman Catholic Holy Week, which is the seven days leading up to Easter.

The mass he served in St. Peter's Square is said to be the first such he's led amid crowds since the start of the pandemic two years ago. During the sermon, he called for …"weapons to be laid down to begin an Easter truce, not to reload weapons and resume fighting, no! A truce to reach peace through real negotiations."

While not saying the names Russia or Ukraine directly, he denounced "the folly of war" and "senseless acts of cruelty," further questioning, "In fact, what a victory would that be, who plants a flag under a pile of rubble?"

However, it was very clear the words were in referencing to the ongoing war. "When we resort to violence … we lose sight of why we are in the world and even end up committing senseless acts of cruelty. We see this in the folly of war, where Christ is crucified yet another time," he said.

He also decried "the unjust death of husbands and sons" … "refugees fleeing bombs" … "young people deprived of a future" … and "soldiers sent to kill their brothers and sisters" – as the Associated Press quoted

While Ukraine-Russia talks are still ongoing, with President Zelensky recently signaling he's ready for neutrality regarding the NATO question, there's been little progress given that anytime a potential 'breakthrough' is reported, what immediately follows are accusations and denials from both sides. Each side is seeking leverage through battlefield victories, with Russian forces concentrating operations in the east and south.

In the scenario that an Easter truce does take hold, it would likely come on April 24 – which is the Eastern Orthodox date this year for Pascha – instead of the Western observation of April 17.

During a trip to the island nation of Malta over a week ago, the Pope had for the first time denounced Putin's decision to go to war, yet characteristically without naming the Russian leader directly. The Pope had said, "Once again, some potentate, sadly caught up in anachronistic claims of nationalist interest, is provoking and fomenting conflicts, whereas ordinary people sense the need to build a future that will either be shared or not be at all."


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