Pope Francis cites Einstein-Russell disarmament manifesto in Urbi et Orbi

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This was one of the most spectacular moments of Holy Week in the Vatican following the Stations of the Cross.

When St. Peter's was suddenly lit up at the announcement of Christ's Resurrection. 

Pope Francis did not preside over the Easter Vigil, but rather Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re.

The Pope gave the homily, and ended it by saying “Christ is risen” in Ukrainian. He acknowledged a delegation that came from Ukraine comprised of the mayor of a city occupied by Russia and three members of of the Ukrainian parliament.

We can only offer you our company, our prayer and encouragement and accompaniment, and tell you the greatest thing that is celebrated today: Christ is risen.

The following day, thousands filled St. Peter's Square to attend the final celebrations of Holy Week. 

Pope Francis presided over the ceremony, although he was noticeably tired. He had to sit down while speaking after Mass, yet his harsh words against the war in Ukraine did not lose their force. 

Choose peace. May the flexing of muscles while people are suffering end. Please, let us not get used to war. Let us all commit ourselves to imploring for peace, from balconies and in the streets!

The Pope cited a manifesto written by Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell in 1955 to urge world leaders to pursue nuclear disarmament.

May the leaders of nations hear the people’s plea for peace. May they listen to that troubling question posed by scientists almost seventy years ago: “Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war?”

Pope Francis asked the world to pray for peace in Africa and the Middle East, and mentioned in particular Jerusalem, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.

He also asked for prayers for Myanmar, for those affected by natural disaster in South Africa, and for the people of Latin America suffering financial hardship. 

Afterwards he delivered the long-awaited Urbi et Orbi blessing. 

Some 50,000 people were present, reaching almost pre-pandemic levels. After two years, St. Peter's Square came back to life during Holy Week.



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