Pope makes Easter plea for Ukraine peace, cites nuclear risk

Pope Francis
Pope Francis
Posted at 11:31 AM, Apr 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-17 14:41:19-04

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has made an Easter plea for peace in Ukraine and in other wars in the world.

After celebrating Easter Sunday Mass for tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square for the first time since the pandemic, Francis delivered his traditional geopolitical speech, in which he cited the risk of nuclear warfare.

“May there be peace for war-torn Ukraine, so sorely tried by the violence and destruction of this cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged,” Francis said, speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Square.

The pontiff, who has a knee problem, limped badly as he stepped out to reach an altar set up in front of St. Peter's Basilica.

Easter is Christianity's most joyous feast day. But for the pope, the war in Ukraine has weighed on his heart.

In London, the archbishop of Canterbury exhorted Russia to withdraw from Ukraine.