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Pope declares humanity ‘experiencing the outbreak of World War III’
- Pope Francis told his Vatican audience that we are already living through WWIII
- Pope has been criticized for not cracking down on Russia hard enough
- He spoke a day before the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War
Pope Francis has declared that humanity is experiencing the outbreak of World War III.
In his address to Polish-speaking pilgrims yesterday, at the end of his weekly audience at the Vatican, the Pope encouraged “prayers in a special way” for the people of Ukraine.
He said: ‘Tomorrow you will remember the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, which so painfully marked the Polish nation.
‘Today we are experiencing the third.
“May the memory of past experiences spur you to cultivate peace in yourself, in families and in social and international life.”
Pope Francis has declared that humanity is experiencing the outbreak of World War III
In April, Francis said humanity is headed for WWIII as if it were “inevitable,” and he has repeatedly warned of impending global conflict.
It comes as the Vatican tried to defend Francis against accusations that he didn’t crack down on Russia hard enough for the invasion of Ukraine.
The church said the Pope clearly views the war launched by Moscow as “pointless, abhorrent and sacrilegious.”
Last week, Ukraine called on the top papal diplomat to complain about recent comments by Francis.
During an audience at the Vatican the day before, Francis had called a “poor girl” after a national Russian TV commentator who had been killed by a car bomb in Moscow.
Debris is seen at the site of a destroyed school after Russian shelling in Druzhkivka, Donetsk
A Ukrainian firefighter rests in a factory destroyed by a Russian attack in the city of Slovyansk
Francis mentioned Darya Dugina, the daughter of the right-wing Russian political theorist Alexander Dugin, who strongly supports the war.
Russia has accused Ukrainian intelligence of involvement in the bombing, which Kiev denies.
In his comments, Francis also said that orphans in Ukraine and Russia were among the “innocents” who were victims of the “madness of war.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the Vatican ambassador to Kiev last week, telling reporters that “the Ukrainian heart is being torn apart by the Pope’s words.”
The Vatican has moved to defend Francis against accusations that he didn’t crack down on Russia for his invasion of Ukraine (Putin pictured yesterday)
In a statement, the Vatican said: “In recent days, public discussions have arisen about the political significance to be attributed” to Francis’ comments.
“The Holy Father’s words on this dramatic issue should be read as a voice raised in defense of human life and the values associated with it, and not taken as a political stance,” the Vatican said.
“As for the great-scale war in Ukraine started by the Russian Federation, the interventions of the Holy Father Francis are clear and unequivocal in condemning it as morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, abhorrent and sacrilegious.”
On the day Ukraine condemned the pope’s comments, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church canceled a meeting with him scheduled for September.
Francis has said he wants to go to Ukraine if it can promote peace, but logistics have made the trip impossible for the 85-year-old pope who has mobility issues.