Pope Francis calls for peace in Gaza, Ukraine in Easter speech

ROME — Pope Francis addressed tens of thousands of followers in St. Peter’s Square and millions more around the world on Sunday, offering a solemn message for a world in crisis and taking the pulpit for his Easter address once again called for a ceasefire. in Gaza, while drawing attention to other conflicts from Ukraine to Haiti, the growing risk of famine, the threat of climate change and the plight of migrants.

The Pope’s Easter address is called “Urbi et Orbi,” or “Address to the City.” [of Rome] and the world”—doesn’t often make the news, but and a speech delivered during the Christmas season, one of the most important on the papal calendar. His words crystallized the ills plaguing this fragile, violent world and found the pope of 1.3 billion Catholics fulfilling a role he has often assumed: humanity’s conscience and moral compass.

Surrounded by the splendor of the Vatican and 35,000 flowers provided by Dutch florists, Francis, who skipped or reduced his attendance at several events during Holy Week before Easter, appeared steady, if occasionally labored. . The week, considered one of the most physically demanding for the 87-year-old, comes this year amid growing concerns about his health.

Yet after an Easter service marked by pomp and tradition and celebrated with the help of cardinals, Francis appeared animated and even humorous as he shook hands with senior clergy from his wheelchair. Later, he boarded the papal car and waved to the ecstatic faithful, some of whom shouted: “Long live the Pope!”

Later, speaking from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica – his white cloak sometimes rising behind him on a windy day – Francis delved into the two conflicts where his remarks have caused the most controversy: Ukraine and Gaza.

He said his thoughts were with “Israel and Palestine” and reiterated his call for a ceasefire and pledged humanitarian aid to Gaza.Sunday, don’t mention it Hamas He called for the release of Israeli hostages kidnapped by the group on October 7 by name.He also drew attention to lebanonhome to a large Christian population.

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Francis has previously angered Israel with comments suggesting it attacks Israel. Gaza Strip Equivalent to “terrorism.”

“We cannot allow the current hostilities to continue to have a severe impact on civilians, which are now reaching the limits of their endurance, especially for children,” Francis said on Sunday. “How much pain we see in the eyes of children: those war lands The children above have forgotten how to smile! They ask us with those eyes: Why? Why is it all death? Why is there so much destruction?”

In Ukraine, the pope was harshly criticized for suggesting that Russia was provoked by NATO into taking action. This month, in an interview with Swiss public broadcaster RSI, he noticed a word used by the interviewer that suggested there was power in raising money. “white flag” Being swayed by those who “failed.”

On Sunday, the pope called for a prisoner exchange and an end to hostilities between Russia and Ukraine.

He painted a picture of a world in crisis and expressed grief for the world. violence in haiti, the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, and conflicts in Africa. He warned of a return of ethnic tensions in the Western Balkans. “May ethnic, cultural and religious differences not be a cause of division but a source of enrichment for the whole of Europe and the whole world,” he said.

Pope’s mobility limited by knee pain, he accepts Intestinal surgery last year.But in recent months, the Vatican has said its top priority is respiratory system. Amid lingering bouts of bronchitis and the flu, he repeatedly missed events and left speeches to aides. When he contracted the flu last month, he went to a Rome hospital unannounced for a diagnostic test.

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On Palm Sunday – the week before Easter – millions around the world witnessed Francis’ last-minute decision to abandon his homily.

During Wednesday’s regular papal audience, he was in high spirits and relatively strong, walking to the podium in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican using only a cane.

Two days later, however, he eschewed his past act of humility: kneeling on the floor of St. Peter’s Basilica during the Good Friday Crucifixion. He also skipped a reenactment of Jesus’ crucifixion at the Colosseum. The Vatican said the move was to conserve energy ahead of the busy week of Easter events. He presided over an Easter vigil at St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday night, sounding nervous and at times breathless as he was wheeled into the church in a wheelchair.

During Easter Week, Francis also sought to focus on women and reaffirmed his devotion to the cornerstone of the papacy: humility. After ascending to the throne of St. Peter in 2013, he revolutionized traditional foot-washing – a nod to the Christian belief that Jesus washed the feet of his 12 disciples – including women, refugees and Muslim. On Holy Thursday this year, he chose to visit the Rebibbia prison in Rome and for the first time exclusively washed the feet of women, all of whom were prisoners, from his wheelchair.

The pope’s health concerns have fueled discussions about whether he will follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Benedict XVI, and retire.in his recently published autobiographyHowever, the pope said his condition would need to be extremely serious to take this step. Addressing the buzz from critics, he wrote: “Some may hope that sooner or later, perhaps after hospitalization, I may make such an announcement, but there is no risk.”

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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