VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis again pleaded for an end to hostilities in Ukraine after missiles struck a shopping center filled with people.
“I carry in my heart every day the dear and tormented Ukraine, which continues to be scourged by barbaric attacks, like the one that struck the Kremenchuk shopping center,” the pope said June 29 after praying the Angelus prayer with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
According to the Ukrainian government, an estimated 1,000 people were inside the mall June 27 when two missiles struck it, killing at least 20 people.
In a message posted to the messaging app Telegram, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, blamed the “insidious missile strike” on Russian forces.
“More than 20 are already known to have been killed and 59 wounded,” Tymoshenko said, according to news reports. “There are also more than 40 statements from relatives about missing people who may have been in the mall during the shelling.”
The attack also drew condemnation from G-7 leaders who were meeting in Germany at the time of the attack.
Russia, however, denied striking the shopping center. In a statement published the day after the attack, Russia’s defense ministry said its forces “struck a weapons depot storing arms received from the United States and Europe with high-precision air-based weapons.”
“The detonation of stored ammunition for Western weapons caused a fire in a non-functioning shopping center located next to the depot,” the statement said, according to the Reuters news agency.
Pope Francis renewed his call for peace and called on Christians to “not neglect to come to the aid of the Ukrainian people, who are suffering so much.”
“I pray that this senseless war may soon come to an end, and I renew the invitation to persevere, tirelessly, in prayer for peace: May the Lord open those paths of dialogue that men are unwilling or unable to find!”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103