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Omaha Steve

(100,441 posts)
Wed Nov 23, 2022, 08:56 PM Nov 2022

Pope links plight of Ukrainians today to Stalin's 'genocide' [View all]

Source: AP

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday linked the suffering of Ukrainians now to the 1930s “genocide artificially caused by Stalin,” when the Soviet leader was blamed for creating a man-made famine in Ukraine believed to have killed more than 3 million people.

Francis’ linking of the plight of Ukrainian civilians today to those killed by starvation 90 years ago, and his willingness to call it a “genocide” caused by Josef Stalin, marked a sharp escalation in papal rhetoric against Russia. As of this year, only 17 countries have officially recognized the famine, known as the Holodomor, as a genocide, according to the Holodomor Museum in Kyiv.

In comments at the end of his weekly Wednesday general audience, Francis renewed calls for prayers for the “terrible suffering of the dear and martyred Ukrainian people.” He recalled that Saturday marks the 90th anniversary of the start of the famine, which Ukraine commemorates every fourth Saturday of November with a Day of Memory.

“Saturday begins the anniversary of the terrible genocide of the Holodomor, the extermination by starvation artificially caused by Stalin between 1932-1933,” Francis said. “Let us pray for the victims of this genocide and let us pray for so many Ukrainians — children, women, elderly, babies — who today are suffering the martyrdom of aggression.”



Pope Francis speaks during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at The Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)


Read more: https://apnews.com/article/pope-francis-kyiv-religion-famine-vatican-city-64a2f863ec55dbff33cbd528e161e1a4

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