The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Pope after controversial Ukraine statement: War is madness

Following fierce criticism of his statement on raising the "white flag" in the Ukraine war, Pope Francis has not commented on the controversy. At the traditional general audience on Wednesday, the head of the Catholic Church called for general prayer against war.

"Let us pray to the Lord to give us the grace to overcome this madness of war, which is always a defeat," said the 87-year-old pontiff in front of numerous faithful in St. Peter's Square in Rome.

Statements made by the Pope in a recent interview on Swiss television sparked massive opposition worldwide. There he said: "When you see that you are defeated, that things are not going well, you have to have the courage to negotiate." When asked about calls for "the courage to surrender, the white flag", he replied: "It's a question of perspective. But I think that those who recognize the situation, who think of the people, who have the courage of the white flag to negotiate, are stronger."

It was eagerly awaited whether Francis would clarify or explain his words in the general audience. Following international criticism, the Holy See has attempted to correct the Pope's statements in recent days. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni, for example, refuted reports that the Pope had called on Ukraine to capitulate.

On Wednesday, Francis said that he had been given the rosary of a young soldier who had died on the front. "Many young people, many young people die," he said, visibly moved, and then called for prayer against war.

Once again, Francis had his speech read out by a member of staff due to his ongoing respiratory illness. He only took the floor at the end, but had to take short breaks due to a cough.

©Keystone/SDA

Most Read

Swiss Stock Market Shutters: Tension in the Middle East Rises

19 April 2024
Swiss stock market declines sharply as Middle East tensions rattle investors. All major stocks, except Nestlé, end deep in the red.

Swiss Franc Gains Value In The Face Of Global Uncertainty

19 April 2024
As global tensions rise following reports of an Israeli attack on Iran, the Swiss Franc sees a significant uptick.

Two Foreigners Found Guilty Of Covid Fraud: Jailed and Fined

18 April 2024
In the Rhine Valley District Court, two men were sentenced to conditional prison terms for forging 210 Covid vaccination certificates and profiting CHF 10,000 each.

SBB Will Be 100% Green By 2030

18 April 2024
SBB outlines a robust environmental strategy, transitioning entirely to renewable energy by 2030 and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2018 levels.

Stay in Touch!

Noteworthy

Uri Cantonal Government Race Heats Up: CVP Majority
21 April 2024
Federal Council Receives Approval at IMF Meeting on Credit Suisse Crisis
20 April 2024