Pope Francis on Sunday called for humanitarian corridors to help refugees out of Ukraine and said those who make war should not be deluded into thinking that God is on their side.
As some in his audience at St. Peter’s Square held large Ukrainian flags, Francis said his “heart is broken” and suggested a day of prayer and fasting for peace on Wednesday.
“Those who make war forget humanity. It does not come from the people,” he said in a passionate voice.
“They don’t consider the everyday lives of people but put partisan interests before everything and trust in the diabolic and perverse logic of weapons, which is the furthest thing from God’s mind.”
The pope said he was moved by images of elderly people seeking refuge and mothers escaping with their children. “They are brothers and sisters, for whom we must urgently open humanitarian corridors. They must be welcomed,” he said.
“May the weapons fall silent. God is with the peacemakers, not with those who use violence … It is the people who are the real victims, who pay for the folly of war with their own skin.”
Turkey called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “war” on Sunday in a rhetorical shift that could pave the way for the Nato member nation to enact an international pact limiting Russian naval passage to the Black Sea.
Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Turkey has control over the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits that connect the Mediterranean and Black seas and can limit the passage of warships if threatened.
Balancing its Western commitments and close ties to Moscow, Ankara has said the Russian attack is unacceptable but until Sunday had not described the situation as a war.
“On the fourth day of the Ukraine war, we repeat President (Tayyip) Erdogan’s call for an immediate halt of Russian attacks,” presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter.

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