Pope Makes Appeals to Help Ukraine, Ecuador During General Audience

Speaking on Ukraine’s Suffering Population, Reminds Faithful of Initiative This Weekend for Church in Europe to Help Humanitarian Crisis

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During his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis repeated his appeals to help the suffering nations of Ukraine and Ecuador.
At the conclusion of the audience, Francis lamented, “Ukraine’s population has been suffering for some time the consequences of an armed conflict, forgotten by many.”
“As you know,” he continued, “I have invited the Church in Europe to support the initiative announced by me to support this humanitarian emergency.
On April 3, during his Regina Caeli address, the Holy Father announced a special charity collection to support the people of Ukraine, explaining to the pilgrims that on Sunday, April 24th, it would be possible to contribute to the collection in all Catholic Churches in Europe.
“This gesture of charity, beyond alleviating material suffering,” the Pope said, “expresses my personal closeness and the solidarity of the entire Church.”
This morning, the Holy Father said, “I thank ahead of time all those that will contribute generously to the initiative.”
Moreover, the Pontiff greeted pilgrims from Ukraine and Belarus on the occasion of an international conference marking the 30th anniversary of the tragedy at Chernobyl. “While renewing prayers for the victims of this disaster, we express our gratitude to the rescuers and to all the initiatives with which we have tried to alleviate the suffering and damage,” the Pope said.
Turning his attention to Latin America during his Spanish-language remarks, the Pope expressed his closeness to the people of Ecuador who were hit this weekend by a massive earthquake which has so far claimed more than 500 lives.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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