The Pope Calls for Peace in Ukraine

At the Vatican’s first major Easter service since the pandemic, Francis condemns nuclear weapons.

Pope Francis leaving his Easter address.Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Pope Francis called for peace in Ukraine in an Easter address before a crowd of tens of thousands in the Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square, in the first such gathering to mark the holiday since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“We have seen all too much blood, all too much violence. Our hearts, too, have been filled with fear and anguish, as so many of our brothers and sisters have had to lock themselves away to be safe from bombing,” the Catholic church’s leader said in calling for a cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia. “May the leaders of nations hear people’s plea for peace,” he said.

The pope also warned against going down a road that could produce nuclear war, quoting Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell’s 1955 manifesto against nuclear weapons: “Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war?”

While Francis was speaking about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he continued to decline to call it an invasion or to condemn specific aggressors. Instead, he called for general peace and an end to violence, while alluding to Russia’s role by describing Ukraine as being “dragged” into a “sacrilege” without pegging Russia as the instigator.

The pope has been more explicit in criticizing how global powers treat refugees. On Friday, he told an Italian TV station that “the refugees are divided. First-class, second-class, by skin color, whether you come from a developed country or a non-developed one,” adding, “We are racists. And that’s bad.”

Since the start of the invasion, Ukrainian refugees have been welcomed into countries like Hungary, which had previously aggressively tamped down on refugees from Syria and elsewhere. While Francis praised countries for welcoming Ukrainians, he said he hoped the same support would be offered to refugees from other countries.  

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate