L'osservatore Romano

Pope Renews Ukraine Appeal: 'Resolve, Release, Respond'

On Ukraine’s National Holiday During General Audience, Francis Urges Parties Involved and International Community to Resolve Conflict, Release Hostages, Respond to the Humanitarian Emergency

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During his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis repeated his appeal to help the suffering nation of Ukraine. Today, August 24, is the nation’s Independence Day, marking its 25th anniversary of independence from the former Soviet Union.
At the conclusion of the audience, Francis said, “I renew my appeal to all the parties involved and to the international bodies that they might strengthen the initiatives to resolve the conflict, release the hostages, and respond to the humanitarian emergency.”
In recent weeks, the Pontiff also lamented, international observers have expressed concern for the worsening situation in eastern Ukraine.
Recalling Ukraine’s national holiday, Francis assured the nation of his prayer for its peace and renewed his appeal.
On various public occasions, including at his General Audiences, Pope Francis has appealed for peace in Ukraine, noting that the nation’s “population has been suffering for some time the consequences of an armed conflict, forgotten by many.”
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.
In addition, 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.

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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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