Pope Francis compared what happens to Ukrainians because of the war with Russia to a Nazi operation that killed an estimated 2 million people, mostly Jews, in the early years of World War II.
Speaking during a weekly general audience, Francis indicated that the Catholic University of Lublin celebrated on Monday (5) the anniversary of ‘Operation Reinhard’, in reference to a secret operation carried out in territories of occupied Poland, including some in present-day Ukraine.
“This Monday, the Center for Catholic-Jewish Relations at the Catholic University of Lublin commemorated the anniversary of ‘Operation Reinhard’. During World War II, it resulted in the extermination of nearly two million victims, most of them of Jewish origin. May the memory of this terrible event evoke intentions and actions of peace in all. And history is repeating itself. We now see what is happening in Ukraine. Let us pray for peace,” Francis said.
Russia has repeatedly said its invasion of Ukraine is a “special military operation” to “denazify” the country and root out nationalists it deems dangerous.
Ukraine and its allies, for their part, accuse Moscow of waging an unprovoked war to seize territory from its pro-Western neighbour.
Since the invasion began in February, Pope Francis has been increasingly vocal in his condemnation of Russia’s actions.
Last month, he said Ukrainians were suffering a “martyrdom of aggression” and compared the effects of the war against Ukrainians to the “terrible genocide” of the 1930s, when Soviet leader Josef Stalin inflicted famine on the country.In an interview last month with the Jesuit magazine America, Francis spoke about what he called the cruelty of Russian forces in Ukraine:
“In general, the cruelest are perhaps those who are from Russia, but not from the Russian tradition, such as the Chechens, the Buryatis. Of course, the invader is the Russian state. That is very clear,” Francisco said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the comments “non-Christian” and incomprehensible, Reuters reported.
Source: CNN Brasil
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