Pope Francis calls for end of wars ahead of Holocaust Remembrance day

UPI
Pope Francis remembered the Holocaust on Wednesday by calling for the end of conflicts, particularly in Ukraine and Gaza. Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI
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Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Pope Francis on Wednesday used his weekly general audience at the Vatican to comment on the upcoming remembrance of the Holocaust by calling for an end to wars, particularly in Ukraine and Gaza.

Saturday is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. Pope Francis said the observation is a time to remember how violence is never a solution for peace.

"May the remembrance and condemnation of that horrific extermination of millions of Jews and people of other faiths, which took place in the first half of the last century, help everyone not forget that the logic of hatred and violence can never be justified because it denies our very humanity," Francis said at Paul VI Hall, according to the Vatican.

Francis said the effort to bring the wars in Ukraine and Gaza to an end and save civilians must not stop.

"War itself is a denial of humanity," he said. "Let us not tire of praying for peace, for an end to conflicts, for a halt to weapons, and for relief for exhausted populations."

The wars in Ukraine and Gaza have been a constant theme of Pope Francis in numerous talks. During his "State of the World" speech to the Diplomatic Corps at the Vatican earlier this month, the pontiff sounded a similar theme.

He told the corps, made of ambassadors from around the world at that time, about his grave concerns over the indiscriminate deaths of civilians in Ukraine and Gaza because of the intensive fighting.