World is on the brink of the abyss – Pope

World is on the brink of the abyss – Pope Photo: CNS/Vatican Media

Speaking this week of the many conflicts in the world Pope Francis has called for all parties to “immediately stop the bombs and missiles and end hostile attitudes. Everywhere.” The Pope called for a “global ceasefire,” because “we are on the brink of the abyss.”

Since the war between Israel and Hamas began there have been fears of it mushrooming into a bigger conflict, particularly between the US and Iran.

The Pope expressed his fear of a military escalation across the Middle East, but said he entertains some hope “because confidential meetings are taking place to try to reach an agreement. A truce would already be a good result.”

Pope Francis defined Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, as “a crucial figure” who “moves well” and tries to mediate.

He said he speaks by video call with the Holy Family Catholic Parish in Gaza every day, adding that the “liberation of Israeli hostages” is a priority.

Regarding Ukraine, the Pope recalled the task entrusted to Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, the president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

“The Holy See is trying to mediate an exchange of prisoners and the return of Ukrainian civilians,” said Pope Francis. “In particular, we are working with Mrs Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian commissioner for children’s rights, for the repatriation of Ukrainian children forcibly taken to Russia. Some have already returned to their families.”