Ukraine: The mayor of kyiv invites the pope to come and pray for the city

The mayor of kyiv sent Pope Francis an invitation to visit the Ukrainian capital in order to "show his compassion" with the Ukrainian people, to which the sovereign pontiff responded on Tuesday with his "prayer".

“We believe that the presence of the world's religious leaders in person in kyiv is essential to save lives and pave the way for peace in our city, our country and beyond,” writes Vitali Klitschko in this letter dated March 8. and of which the press became aware on Tuesday.

"We call on you, as a spiritual leader, to show your compassion, to stand with the people of Ukraine by spreading a common call for peace," he added.

Asked by journalists, the Holy See said in a statement that the pope had "received the letter from the mayor of the Ukrainian capital and is in solidarity with the suffering of the city, its inhabitants, those who had to flee and of those called to administer it".

"He prays to the Lord for them to be protected from violence," said the director of the press service of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni.

However, he did not specify whether or not the Pope had agreed to go to kyiv, and did not comment on his possible participation in a joint videoconference mentioned by Mr. Klitschko in his letter, who had planned to go there. “to associate President (Volodymyr) Zelensky” in the event that the pope cannot physically visit the country.

On Sunday, the Argentine sovereign pontiff called for "stopping the massacre" in Ukraine, invaded by Russian troops since February 24.

“Faced with the barbarism which consists in killing children, innocents, defenseless civilians, there is no strategic reason. The unacceptable armed aggression must simply stop, before it reduces the cities to cemeteries,” the sovereign pontiff once again declared on Tuesday, via this message sent to the press, reiterating his call from Sunday.

This announcement comes as the Kyiv mayor's office imposed a 35-hour curfew from Tuesday evening in the Ukrainian capital, where bombings killed at least four people in the morning.

The editorial staff (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock.com/Sharomka

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