VATICAN CITY — Saying he was worried about Ukraine and how a possible Russian-Ukrainian conflict could spread, Pope Francis proclaimed Jan. 26 as a day of prayer for peace in Ukraine. Responding to a buildup of Russian troops near the Ukrainian-Russian border and the inability of major powers to agree on a solution, Catholic bishops in Ukraine and Poland and Ukrainian Catholic bishops in the United States also called for prayers for the prevention of war.
After reciting the Angelus prayer Jan. 23, Pope Francis said, “I am following with concern the rising tensions that threaten to strike a new blow at peace in Ukraine and put into question the security of the European continent, with even wider repercussions. I make a heartfelt appeal to all people of goodwill to pray to Almighty God that all political actions and initiatives will serve human fraternity rather than partisan interests,” the pope said.
“Those who pursue their own goals to the detriment of others despise their vocation as human beings, because we have all been created brothers and sisters,” he said. “For this reason and with concern given the current tensions, I propose that next Wednesday, Jan. 26, be a day of prayer for peace.”