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Pope Francis Calls For “All for All” Prisoner Exchange in His Easter Message

March 31, 2024, 13:24 27

In his traditional Easter message “Urbi et Orbi,” Pope Francis addressed the ongoing conflicts in Israel, Palestine, and Ukraine, emphasizing the importance of respecting international law. He specifically called for a “total exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine: all for all.”

Pope Francis Calls For “All for All” Prisoner Exchange in His Easter Message
Pope Francis during the Easter message “Urbi et Orbi” on March 31, 2024, photo: Vatican Media

Pope Francis emphasized that today, the Church is experiencing the same concern as the myrrh-bearing women who walked to the Lord’s tomb at dawn. “The tomb of Christ was blocked with a heavy stone, and today, heavy stones block human hopes: stones of wars, humanitarian crises, human rights violations, human trafficking, and many more. And we, like these women, are now asking ourselves: ‘Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb?’”

Moreover, the astonishment of Easter morning comes from seeing the stone removed from the Lord’s tomb. “The astonishment of the women is our astonishment as well: the tomb of the Lord is open and empty.” Pope Francis pointed out that a new path runs through the empty tomb of Christ: “…the path of life in the midst of death, the path of peace in the midst of war, reconciliation in the midst of hatred, fraternity in the midst of dissension.”

Addressing the “city and the world,” the Holy Father mentioned wars in different parts of the world. “My thoughts go first to the victims of the many ongoing conflicts in the world, starting with Israel, Palestine, and Ukraine. May the risen Lord open the path of peace for these long-suffering peoples. Calling for respect for the principles of international law, I express my hope for a general exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine: all for all,” Pope Francis said.

The faithful in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican greeted this call for the exchange of prisoners with loud applause.

The UGCC Department for Information

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