Pope condemns killing of children by Russian invaders in Ukraine

Pope condemns killing of children by Russian invaders in Ukraine

Pope Francis has decried the “barbarianism” of the killing of children and other defenseless civilians in Ukraine and pleaded for a stop to the attacks “before cities are reduced to cemeteries.”

That's according to the Associated Press.

In some of his strongest denunciations yet of the war in Ukraine, and in an apparent reference to Russia, which invaded Ukraine on February 24, the pontiff said that “there are no strategic reasons that hold up” in the face of such armed aggression.

Read also: Metropolitan Epifaniy thanks soldiers defending native Ukraine from aggressor

During a Sunday noon appearance, Pope Francis said that Mariupol, the southern Ukrainian city which “bears the name” of the Virgin Mary, has “become a city martyred by the heartbreaking war that is devastating Ukraine.”

“In the name of God, I ask: ‘Stop this massacre,’” Francis said.

Francis prayed for an end to the bombings and other attacks, and for ensuring that humanitarian corridors “are safe and secure.”

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