Pope Francis has given an urgent plea to Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the "spiral of violence and death" that's occured during the war in Ukraine.
The Pontif told the public, gathered in St. Peter’s Square, that he was abandoning his usual religious theme for his Sunday afternoon remarks to concentrate his reflection on Ukraine.
Pope Francis expressed deep concern over the nuclear threat and military escalation in the war in Ukraine, issuing a powerful appeal for an immediate ceasefire.
He also asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to be open to serious peace offers. within his address he said: "My appeal is addressed first and foremost to the President of the Russian Federation, imploring him to stop this spiral of violence and death, also for the sake of his own people
"On the other hand, saddened at the immense suffering of the Ukrainian people as a result of the aggression they have suffered, I address an equally confident appeal to the President of Ukraine to be open to serious proposals for peace.
"I urge all the protagonists of international life and the political leaders of nations to do everything possible to bring an end to the war, without allowing themselves to be drawn into dangerous escalations, and to promote and support initiatives for dialogue."
The Pontiff went onto to say that he is upset at the lives lost within the war: "I am saddened by the rivers of blood and tears spilled in these months. I am saddened by the thousands of victims, especially children, and the destruction which has left many people and families homeless and threaten vast territories with cold and hunger.
"War in itself is an error and a horror!"
Pope Francis is calling on an immediate ceasefire and expressed: "Let negotiations begin that will lead to solutions that are not imposed by force, but consensual, just and stable, based on respect for human life, as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country, and the rights of minorities.
"I deeply deplore the grave situation that has arisen in recent days, with further actions contrary to the principles of international law. It increases the risk of nuclear escalation, giving rise to fears of uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences worldwide"