The thought of the war-afflicted Ukrainian population is always alive in my heart. The passing of time does not cool down our pain and our concern for those battered people. Please don’t get used to this tragic reality!
A few months ago the world was emerging from the storm of the pandemic, showing signs of economic recovery that would have given relief to millions of people impoverished by the loss of jobs. A glimpse of serenity opened up which, without forgetting the pain of losing loved ones, promised to finally be able to return to direct interpersonal relationships, to meet again without constraints or restrictions. And here a new disaster has appeared on the horizon, destined to impose a different scenario on the world.
The war in Ukraine has added to the regional wars which in recent years have been reaping death and destruction. But here the picture is more complex due to the direct intervention of a ‘superpower’, which intends to impose its will against the principle of self-determination of peoples. Scenes of tragic memory are repeated and once again the mutual blackmail of some powerful covers the voice of humanity calling for peace.
How many poor does the senselessness of war generate! Wherever you look, you can see how violence affects the defenseless and the weakest. Deportation of thousands of people, especially boys and girls, to uproot them and impose another identity on them.
Millions of women, children, and the elderly are forced to defy the danger of bombs in order to save themselves by seeking refuge as refugees in neighboring countries. Those who remain in the conflict zones then live every day with fear and the lack of food, water, medical care, and above all affections. In these situations, the reason is obscured and those who suffer the consequences are many ordinary people, who join the already large number of poor people. How to give an adequate response that will bring relief and peace to so many people, left at the mercy of uncertainty and precariousness?
I think at this moment of the willingness that, in recent years, has moved entire populations to open their doors to welcome millions of refugees from wars in the Middle East, Central Africa, and now Ukraine. Families have thrown open their homes to make room for other families, and communities have generously welcomed many women and children to offer them due dignity. However, the longer the conflict continues, the more its consequences worsen. The peoples who welcome find it increasingly difficult to give continuity to the aid; families and communities are beginning to feel the weight of a situation that goes beyond the emergency. This is the time not to give in and to renew the initial motivation. What we have started needs to be completed with the same responsibility.Pope Francis
The injustice and cruelty of war are a constant thought and concern for Pope Francis and all of us.