May the suffering of people in eastern Ukraine come to an end, Pope Francis in his Easter Urbi et Orbi message

Sunday, 12 April 2020, 16:39
Delivering the traditional Easter message "to the city of Rome and the world " (Urbi et Orbi), His Holiness Pope Francis mentioned Ukraine and wished "to end the suffering of the people in eastern regions of Ukraine." Standing before the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica, the Pope called on the world to reject "indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness."

The Pope’s thoughts turned immediately to those directly affected by the coronavirus. “For many, this is an Easter of solitude, lived amid the sorrow and hardship that the pandemic is causing, from physical suffering to economic difficulties”, he said.  The Pope then expressed his gratitude and affection to doctors and nurses, and “to all who work diligently to guarantee the essential services necessary for civil society, and to the law enforcement and military personnel who in many countries have helped ease people’s difficulties and sufferings.” “But the Lord has not left us alone”, he added. “United in our prayer, we are convinced that He has laid His hand upon us”.

Pope Francis acknowledged that “this is also a time of worry about an uncertain future, about jobs that are at risk”. He encouraged political leaders “to work actively for the common good”, providing the means “to enable everyone to lead a dignified life and, when circumstances allow, to assist them in resuming their normal daily activities”.

In the face of the pandemic, "now is not the time for indifference." The Holy Father called for the poor, the refugees and the homeless to be remembered.

This is not a time for self-centredness, continued Pope Francis, because “the challenge we are facing is shared by all”. “Today, the European Union faces an epochal challenge that depends not only on the future of Europe itself, but of the whole world. Let us not miss the opportunity to give another proof of solidarity, including the search for innovative solutions."

“This is not a time for division, said the Pope, as he appealed for “an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world”. Recalling the various countries where the war is currently going on, the Holy Father referred to Ukraine and wished to "end the suffering of the population of its eastern regions." "Now is not the time to continue to manufacture and sell weapons, spending huge amounts of money on this," urged the successor of the apostle Peter.

This is not a time for forgetfulness, continued Pope Francis, referring to the humanitarian crises being faced in Asia and Africa. He prayed for refugees and migrants “living in unbearable conditions, especially in Libya and on the border between Greece and Turkey”.

“Indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time”, said the Pope. These words “seem to prevail when fear and death overwhelm us”, and we want to ban them forever, he added. 

Pope Francis concluded his Urbi et Orbi message with a prayer: “May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of His glorious day. A day that knows no end.”

The UGCC Department for Information

based on the materials of Vatican News


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