Pope calls for prayer next Wednesday to stop Ukraine crisis

Pope calls for prayer next Wednesday to stop Ukraine crisis

Pope Francis called for an international day of prayer on January 26 to stop the Ukraine crisis from worsening, saying that the tensions were threatening the security of Europe and could have a huge repercussions.

Francis announced the day of prayer and made a call for dialogue to defuse the crisis during his weekly address and blessing to pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square.

Top U.S. and Russian diplomats didn't make a major breakthrough in talks to resolve the crisis over Ukraine, although they agreed to keep talking. On Sunday, Britain accused Russia of trying to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine.

I am following the rising tensions that threaten to deliver a new blow to peace in Ukraine and put the security of Europe in doubt, with even more repercussions, he said.

He appealed to all people of good will to pray next Wednesday so that all political initiatives will be for the service of human fraternity rather than partisan interests. The Vatican did not say anything about how the pope would mark the day.

He said that those who pursue their interests by harming others are in contempt of his vocation as a man, because we were all created as brothers.

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and warned of a swift, severe response if Russia invades Ukraine after mass troops are near its border.