Pope compares Ukrainian suffering to Nazi extermination: «History repeats itself».

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The Pope at a general audience – Alberto Gandolfo/LaPresse via ZU / DPA

The Pope on Wednesday reiterated his call for peace in Ukraine and compared the country’s suffering to Operation Reinhardt, a secret Nazi plan to exterminate Jews during World War II as he greeted Polish pilgrims at Wednesday’s General Audience.

«During the Second World War it (the plan) caused the extermination of almost two million people, mainly of Jewish origin. May the memory of this terrible event awaken in all of us the desire and action for peace. History repeats itself, repeats itself. We see today what is happening in Ukraine. Let us pray for peace. I cordially bless those present here and their compatriots,» he said, improvising on Ukraine, recalling that last Monday the Abraham Heschel Center for Catholic-Jewish Relations of the Catholic University of Lublin commemorated the anniversary of this plan.

Present at the audience was the mayor of the Ukrainian city of Lviv, Andrii Sadovy, who briefly greeted the Pope. The Ukrainian mayor was accompanied by the medical staff of a rehabilitation center for war victims, where they also manufacture prostheses.

On the other hand, Francis condemned feminicides, which «almost always arise from the pretension of possessing the affection of the other.» «Possessiveness is the enemy of the good and kills affection: the numerous cases of violence in the domestic sphere, of which we unfortunately hear frequent news, almost always arise from the pretension of possessing the affection of the other, from the search for absolute security that kills freedom and suffocates life, turning it into a hell,» he pointed out.

Francis thus assured that the only way to love is «to love in freedom.» «That is why the Lord created us free, free even to say no,» he stressed.