Pope says Ukraine war ‘a crime against humanity’ in annual speech | Religion News

The head of the Catholic Church criticizes Russia’s war in Ukraine and Iran’s treatment of protesters

In his annual address to diplomats, Pope Francis condemned Russia’s war in UkraineIran’s treatment of Protesters and harm of government buildings in Brazil by followers of the country’s far-right former president.

Monday’s speech to recognized ambassadors at the Vatican is informally called the pope’s “state of the world” speech. Usually, it outlines the areas in which the Holy See is most concerned.

Here are some key remarks from the head of the Catholic Church:

Ukraine: Any act of war ‘is a crime against God and humanity’

  • Pope condemns “rise of death and destruction” caused by Russia’s nearly year-long attack on Ukrainedescribed the war as a “crime against God and humanity”.
  • He said attacks on civilian infrastructure have caused deaths “not only from guns and acts of violence but also from hunger and freezing”.
  • “Every act of war aimed at the indiscriminate destruction of entire cities or large areas and their inhabitants is a crime against God and humanity that deserves strong and unequivocal condemnation,” said Germany. Francis said.
  • The pope also warned of the growing nuclear threat recalling the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
  • Pope Francis said the world “feels fear and suffering again” and called for a complete ban on nuclear weapons.

Iran: ‘The death penalty cannot be applied’

  • Pope Francis condemns Tehran’s use of the death penalty against protesters who are demanding greater freedoms for women.
  • His strongest comments to the nationwide protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody have gripped Iran since mid-September.
  • “The death penalty cannot be used for a purposeful state justice, as it neither prevents nor brings justice to the victims, but only fuels the desire for revenge,” he said. “.
  • At least four people have been executed in Iran since protests against Amini’s death began.
  • Pope Francis also called for an end to the death penalty globally. He described the death penalty as “always unacceptable because it attacks the inviolability and dignity of the human person”.

Women’s rights: ‘They suffered violence and abuse’

  • In a broader comment on women’s rights globally, the pope said women in many countries are still considered “second-class citizens”.
  • “They are subject to violence and abuse, and are denied the opportunity to study, work, use their talents and have access to health care and even food,” Pope Francis said. speak.
  • Education comment may refer to the Afghan Taliban recent move against women who want to study at the university level.

The Americas: ‘Increasing political and social polarization’

  • Pope Francis expresses alarm over “weakening of democracy” in Americas, citing storming government buildings in Brazil on Sunday by supporters of former populist leader Jair Bolsonaro.
  • The spectacle, he said, is evidence of the “increasing political and social polarization” that is affecting different parts of the Americas.
  • He said there are a number of countries where “intense political crises and forms of violence exacerbate social conflicts”.
  • “I am thinking about these last hours in Brazil,” the pope said, in a line not included in his pre-released text.
  • Pope Francis also cites Peru, which has recently been gripped by Deadly protests across the countryand a “worrying situation” in Haitianwhere gang violence is frequent.
  • “There is a constant need to transcend partisan thinking and work to advance the common good,” he said.


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