The pope repeated the word “peace” more than 20 times in his Easter message. But Pope Francis delivered a message marked above all by bitterness and sadness. “We have seen too much blood, too much violence.” Words especially addressed to the Ukrainians, to these “brothers and sisters” who “had to lock themselves up to protect themselves from the bombs”.
A great first, after two years of pandemic. Pope Francis celebrated Easter Mass on Sunday. At noon, he pronounced his traditional Easter blessing Urbi and orbi. A very political message on Ukraine, with a call for peace addressed to the nations. The pope repeated the word “peace” more than 20 times in his Easter message. But François delivered a message marked above all by bitterness and sadness. “We have seen too much blood, too much violence”, he launched from the loggia of the basilica, this small balcony which overlooks Saint-Pierre square where 50,000 people had gathered just now.
These are words which were above all addressed to Ukraine, to the Ukrainians, to these “brothers and sisters” who “had to lock themselves up to protect themselves from the bombs”. He regrets that there is “still in us the spirit of Cain, who looks at Abel not as a brother, but as a rival, and thinks about how to eliminate him”. For the pope, this Cain is not only Russia, but all the aggressors around the world, wherever people suffer from conflict.
Moscow is not mentioned in this Easter message, but we guess it behind some passages. When Francis mentions “fratricidal hatred”, for example, or when he implores that we stop “showing our muscles while people suffer”. The pope is also trying to get us to contribute by urging people not to forget the displaced and refugees. He also asks us not to get used to this war.
A call for general mobilization
In his Urbi and orbi, François asked for a general mobilization. He “even called for the demonstration”, confirms Frédéric Mounier, former correspondent for The cross in Rome, guest ofEurope Midday weekend. “Let us all commit to calling for peace from our balconies and in the streets”, said the sovereign pontiff in particular. A message that is not uncommon for the latter, whose pontificate began eight years ago.
When he says that we have to stop “flexing our muscles while people are suffering”, is this only a religious symbol, or also a message from the head of state of the Vatican? For Frédéric Mounier, “it’s both at the same time”: “A week ago, on the occasion of Palm Sunday”, François “launched a call for a truce, obviously not heard”. The journalist also recalls that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is “carried out in ‘collaboration’ with his friend Patriarch Kirill of Moscow”.
“Do not play a war of Christians against Christians”
The whole issue for the pope lies in “being extremely political and shrewd, and not playing a war of Christians against Christians” while “Vladimir Putin and the Moscow Patriarchate are dropping bombs on Orthodox brothers”, while that the Ukrainian Orthodox churches “are very disengaged from Moscow”, analyzes the author of The pope who wanted to change the Churchsince “there was a split a few years ago”.
The dialogue between the Vatican and the Patriarchate of Moscow “is extremely difficult since Patriarch Kirill calls into question the whole of the West as being a wanton West, what he calls the West of gay pride”, further recalls former correspondent of The cross.