Pope appeals to world leaders to avert the threat of nuclear war

threat of nuclear war

Pope Francis led leaders of world religions in an appeal to politicians to avert the threat of nuclear war over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Pope’s move came as Russian president, Vladimir Putin, oversaw a dramatic Russian military drill simulating a massive nuclear strike on Wednesday.

Putin repeatedly claims that Ukraine was preparing a “dirty bomb”.

“We are at a crossroads: We can be the generation that lets the planet and humanity die, that hoards and sells weapons in the illusion of saving only ourselves against others, or we can be the generation that creates new ways of living together, doesn’t invest in arms, abolishes war as an instrument for solving conflicts and halts the extraordinary exploitation of the planet’s resources,” the pope said.

Francis spoke to a crowd gathered before the arches of the Colosseum, where religious and political representatives met on Tuesday to appeal for peace and interreligious dialogue.

“The Cry for Peace,” an ecumenical event, was organised by the Catholic lay movement of Sant’Egidio, which works closely with the pope on matters of war, conflict, migrants and refugees.

Attending the event were religious leaders from all over the world. Among them were the Patriarch Mar Awa III Royel of the Assyrian Church in Iraq, World Methodist Council President Jong Chun Park and the Orthodox Archbishop Dionysius John Kawak of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.

“With firm conviction, we say: No more war! Let’s halt every conflict,” Francis said.

“War only leads to death and destruction. It’s a trip with no return where we are all losers.”

Francis’s speech focused on the priority of dialogue over violence and underlined the importance of re-energising discussions for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and reducing the threat of nuclear war.

He recalled how on October 25, 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, Pope John XXIII delivered a radio message appealing to leaders of the time to bring the world back from the brink.

“Today, in fact, something we dreaded and hoped never to hear of again is threatened outright: the use of nuclear weapons, which even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki continued wrongly to be produced and tested,” Francis said.

“Sadly, since then, wars have continued to cause bloodshed and to impoverish the earth. Yet, the situation that we are presently experiencing is particularly dramatic.

“This year our prayer has become a heartfelt plea, because today peace has been gravely violated, assaulted and trampled upon, and this in Europe, on the very continent that in the last century endured the horrors of two world wars.”


US News

Religion News Service

The Australian


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