Pope Francis reacted on Wednesday to the recent discovery of dozens of corpses in Boutcha, near the capital kyiv after the withdrawal of Russian troops. The sovereign pontiff castigated the “increasingly horrible cruelty” which strikes in Ukraine “including against civilians” and called for an end to this war.
Pope Francis castigated this Wednesday the “ever more horrible cruelty” which strikes in Ukraine “including against civilians”, in reference to the “massacre of Boutcha”, before kissing a Ukrainian flag from this “martyred city”. . “The recent news of the war in Ukraine (…) attests to new atrocities, such as the Boutcha massacre, an ever more horrible cruelty, committed also against defenseless civilians, women and children,” the pope said. at the end of his weekly general audience at the Vatican.
“These are victims whose innocent blood cries out to the sky and implores: End this war! Silence the guns! Stop sowing death and destruction!” , added the sovereign pontiff. A few minutes later, the pope unfurled a Ukrainian flag in front of the thousands of faithful gathered in the Paul VI hall. “This flag comes from the war, from this martyred city, Boutcha”, he declared, in the presence of Ukrainian children, before kissing the banner visibly blackened by the fighting.
“Witnesses to the impotence of international organizations”
This declaration is the first reaction of the pope after the recent discovery of dozens of corpses in Boutcha, near the capital kyiv after the withdrawal of Russian troops, which aroused a wave of shock and the unanimous condemnation of Europeans. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russian forces of killing civilians in Boutcha, but the Kremlin has denied responsibility, saying the footage was fabricated by kyiv.
During his audience, François also deplored “the impotence of international organizations” in the face of the conflict. “After the Second World War, attempts were made to lay the foundations for a new history of peace, but unfortunately the old history of competing great powers has been perpetuated. And in the current war in Ukraine, we are witness to the impotence of international organisations”.
On Sunday, on returning from his trip to Malta, the pope expressed his “availability” to help silence the guns in Ukraine and said he was ready to go to kyiv, after condemning a “sacrilegious war”.