News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Pope urges ceasefire in Ukraine as Putin pulls out of treaty

by Heather Preston

The Pope is calling for an urgent ceasefire to end the 'absurd and cruel' war on the Ukraine, ahead of its one-year anniversary.

Speaking two days before the first anniversary of Russia's invasion, the Pontiff has appealed for peace negotiations, saying no victory could be "built on ruins".

"The number of dead, wounded, refugees and displaced people, the (amount of) destruction and economic and social damage speak for themselves," Pope Francis said at his general audience on Ash Wednesday.

"May the Lord forgive all these crimes and all this violence: He is the God of peace."

Francis appealed to those in authority over nations "to make concrete efforts to end the conflict, to reach a ceasefire and to start peace negotiations.

"Whatever is built on rubble can never be a true victory," he added.

The Holy See has appealed for an end to fighting in Ukraine at almost every public appearance since Russia's invasion.

Pax Christi is an international Catholic peace movement that exists to "transform a world shaken by violence, terrorism, deepening inequalities, and global insecurity."

Chief Executive Andrew Jackson tells Premier Pax Christi shares the Pope’s concerns.

“His appeal is to those who have the power to do something about it.

“The talk of supplying weapons is simply leading to an escalation of the conflict. And we just do not know where that would end.”

Jackson says it’s important to try to understand both sides of any conflict and be careful not to dehumanise Putin as a “monster or tyrant”.

“That isn't going to help in any kind of peace negotiation.

“Christians need to be praying for peace. We need to be praying for people to be humbled to look for non-violent ways of resolving conflict.”

Jackson appealed to the Russian Orthodox Church to encourage Putin to choose a peaceful resolution.

The Vatican is one of just two governments that has called for a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made a similar plea, stating that a truce is the only way to ensure "human lives can be saved."

The Pope's comments come a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the country is suspending its participation in the New Start treaty - a nuclear arms control treaty to limits the nuclear arsenals of Russia and America. He warned that Russia was ready to resume nuclear weapons testing, but only if the US conducts them first.

Speaking at his State of the Union address on Tuesday, the Kremlin leader blamed the war on Ukraine and the West. He claims he did "everything possible" to try to solve the conflict in a "peaceful way" before invading the country last February.

US President Joe Biden has called Russia's suspension from the treaty a "big mistake". Speaking from Poland he declared that "Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, never" as he insisted democratic countries will band together and remain strong against Russia's aggression.

On Wednesday, Biden met with NATO members in closest proximity to Russia. Meanwhile Putin issued a rallying cry to Russians during a stadium concert in Moscow - telling supporters the whole country stands behind it's soldiers in Ukraine.


A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email