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World: On 'Easter of war,' pope implicitly criticises Russia over Ukraine

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis, marking an "Easter of war," on Sunday urged leaders to hear the people's plea for peace in Ukraine and implicitly criticised Russia for dragging the country into a "cruel and senseless" conflict.

Pope leads Easter Sunday mass, delivers traditional © Reuters/YARA NARDI Pope leads Easter Sunday mass, delivers traditional "Urbi et Orbi" message

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Speaking to some 50,000 people in St. Peter's Square for his twice yearly "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and world) address, Francis said Ukraine was "sorely tried by the violence and destruction of the cruel and senseless war into which it was dragged".

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Pope leads crowds in 1st outdoor Easter Mass since pandemic .
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis celebrated Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, making Christianity's most joyous day at a time when the war in Ukraine has weighed heavily on his heart. The pontiff, who has a knee ligament problem, limped badly as he stepped out from the back of St. Peter's Basilica to reach an altar set up on the steps outside, shaded by a canopy against brilliant sunshine.Tens of thousands of people, numbered at 50,000 by the Vatican, many in shirt sleeves, packed the flower-bedecked square and a nearby boulevard to hear his words.

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