With the escalation in hostilities in Eastern Europe, and the invasion by Russian forces into a neighbouring independent country, Christians everywhere are encouraged to pray for peace, and for a just resolution to the international crisis.
Catholicism teaches that wars of aggression can never be justified. In his general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday 23rd February, Pope Francis urged leaders to abstain from any moves that would cause further suffering for people.
''Despite the diplomatic efforts of the last few weeks, ever more alarming scenarios are unfolding. Like me, many people around the world are anguished and worried. Once again, the peace that belongs to everyone is threatened by partisan interests'', the Pope said.
“I want to appeal to those with political responsibilities to make a serious examination of conscience before God — who is the God of peace and not war, who is the God of all and not just some and wants us to be sisters and brothers, not enemies.”
Pope Francis has proclaimed Ash Wednesday, March 2 – which is the beginning of the season of Lent - as an international day of fasting and prayer for peace.