Papal Appeal to End Ukraine Violence

Papal Appeal to End Ukraine ViolencePapal Appeal to End Ukraine Violence

Pope Francis called on the parties to the Ukrainian civil war to put an end to violence and seek a compromise path towards peace.

“Let us pray to the Lord so that this horrible fratricide violence may cease as soon as possible,” the head of the Roman Catholic Church said speaking at the end of the weekly General Audience, RT reported.

Speaking off-the-cuff, Pope Francis said that when he hears the words ‘victory’ or ‘defeat’ he feels great pain, great sadness in his heart, the Vatican news service reported.

“They are not the right words. The only right word is peace. This is the only right word.” he explained. “I think of you, Ukrainian brothers and sisters, this is a war between Christians,” the pontiff added. Earlier, the head of the Russian orthodox church Patriarch Kirill thanked the pontiff for taking a balanced stance on the Ukrainian conflict and calling for peace in that troubled land. The war in Ukraine has claimed at least 5,350 lives since April 2014, according to the latest UN count. So far all attempts to stop violence and engage the belligerents into dialogue failed to produce a lasting truce. The clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and rebel forces escalated in January.

The city hall in Donetsk said the number of casualties from Wednesday’s shelling in the west part of Donetsk early afternoon was not immediately established but the rebel-run Donetsk News Agency reported five killed inside and near the hospital in Tekstilshchik district. As the conflict intensifies, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he is confident that the United States will agree to send weapons to his country to help it fight pro-Russian forces, a step the Americans reportedly are considering. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said that she was opposed to the idea.