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“The world is at war,” Pope Francis lamented this Good Friday a few hours before presiding over the night Way of the Cross at the Colosseum in Rome, in which two women from Ukraine and Russia will carry the cross as a message of reconciliation to the two countries in war.

“Right now, in Europe, this war hits us hard. But let’s look a little further. The world is at war. Syria, Yemen, and then think of the Rohingya, expelled, homeless. Everywhere there is war”, assured the Argentine pontiff in an interview with the public channel of the Italian television Rai1.

“The world has chosen – it is hard to say – the pattern of Cain and war is to implement Cainism, that is, to kill the brother,” he explained.

Interviewed about the war, about the recent images of dead bodies in the streets of Ukraine, about the mobile crematoria, the rapes, the devastation and the barbarism, the pope deplored what he called “the cainist scheme”.

“I understand the rulers who buy weapons, I understand them. I don’t justify them, but I understand them. Because we have to defend ourselves, because it responds to the Cainist scheme of war”, he added.

“If it were a model of peace, this would not be necessary. But we live with this demonic scheme, [que dice] that we kill each other for the sake of power, for the sake of security, for the sake of many things,” he stressed.

Francis will preside this Friday again at the Roman Colosseum, symbol of the martyrdom of Christians, the nocturnal Way of the Cross.

In the last two years, the coronavirus pandemic forced it to be held in the Basilica of San Pedro and with few people.

This year, two women from Ukraine and Russia have also been invited to carry the cross at one of the stations that commemorate the suffering and death of Jesus, from his condemnation to his burial.

An initiative for peace and reconciliation that has generated controversy among the Ukrainian community due to the current war between the two countries.

Albina is Russian and a third-year Nursing student at the Rome Bio-Medical Campus University. Irina, Ukrainian, is a nurse at the Palliative Care Center of the Opus Dei University Polyclinic Foundation.

The two women, who are friends, spent the months of covid together and assured the press that they share the suffering of the two peoples.

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