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Pope Francis issues an urgent plea for an end to the war

Pope Francis waves during the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday.
Gregorio Borgia
/
AP
Pope Francis waves during the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday.

Pope Francis condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Sunday, calling it a "massacre."

"The only thing to do is stop this unacceptable armed aggression before it reduces cities into cemeteries," Francis told a crowd of worshipers gathered at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City during his Sunday blessing.

Francis urged people to take in refugees from Ukraine. More than 2.5 million people have already fled Ukraine due to the invasion, according to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

The pope seemed particularly somber, Reuters reported.

"In the name of God I ask you: stop this massacre!" Francis said, before asking the crowd to join him in silent prayer for an end to the war.

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Rina Torchinsky