pope in Lisbon
Image: Tiago Petinga/ Lusa

Pope’s first speech refers to war in Ukraine

For outsiders, the Pope’s first speech today, at Belém Cultural Centre, called for ‘courageous courses of peace’ for Ukraine.

Media reports in Portugal have concentrated on his warm words for the hordes of young Catholics from across the world that have converged on Lisbon for World Youth Day, but the international press highlighted his references to Ukraine/ the complicated direction in which the world seems to be travelling.

We are sailing amid storms on the ocean of history, and we sense the need for courageous courses of peace,” he said in his  address to officials and diplomats at Lisbon’s riverside Belem Cultural Centre, writes the Telegraph.

“With deep love for Europe, and in the spirit of dialogue that distinguishes this continent, we might ask her: ‘Where are you sailing, if you are not showing the world paths of peace, creative ways for bringing an end to the war in Ukraine’?”

For full details of the Pontiff’s schedule over the next few days, click here.

As the Telegraph concedes, “the 86-year-old pontiff has repeatedly called for peace in Ukraine and has sought to play a mediating role, though his efforts have yet to yield results and he has faced criticism for failing to blame Russia for the war.