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'The world has a short memory': Pope Francis issues warning over risk of new global conflict

by Lydia Davies

On the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings during WWII, Pope Francis voiced concern over the fading memory of the war.

Delivering an address at the Vatican on 5th June, the Pontiff warned that "the horrors of the Second World War are being forgotten over time" and that this "increases the risk of a new global conflict".

"I regret that the world has a short memory," he lamented.  

Pope Francis elaborated on the universal yearning for peace, saying: “People want peace. They want conditions of stability, security, and prosperity.

"The destruction of this noble order for ideological, nationalistic, or economic ambitions is reprehensible to humanity and history, a sin before God.”

Highlighting the essential nature of compromise in conflict resolution he added: “The desire for peace is not cowardice. On the contrary, it requires the greatest courage when you know you are losing something.”

In March last year, Pope Francis stirred controversy in Kyiv with his mention of a “white flag” and “negotiation” as means to conclude the conflict in Ukraine.

The Vatican later clarified that the Pope's comments were in response to a journalist's question, using the phrase to highlight the ceasefire brought about by brave negotiation efforts.

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