Pope Francis warns that the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine has the potential to lead to a “final catastrophe” that will bring an end to mankind.
The conflict threatens to worsen as Western politicians and members of the press advocate for the imposition of a no-fly zone to strike at Russian targets within Ukraine. Should a no-fly zone be imposed, it would bring NATO forces into direct conflict with Russia.
The imposition of a no-fly zone would also require attacks on Russian air defence systems behind its own borders.
Speaking in his weekly address, the Pope in Rome said that humanity would have to “start from scratch,” in the event of a global thermonuclear war.
“Our imagination appears increasingly concentrated on the representation of a final catastrophe that will extinguish us,” said Pope Francis. “What happens with an eventual nuclear war?”
“The ‘day after’ this — if there will still be days and human beings — will have to start again from scratch. Destroying everything to start again from scratch,” he repeated.
During his address, the Pope highlighted how apocalyptic “flood imagery” is “gaining ground in our subconscious,” referencing the biblical narrative found in the Book of Genesis.
“Now more than ever,” he said, “the wisdom of the elderly is needed to prevent the path of self-destruction by denouncing corruption and a relativistic lifestyle.”
Despite increasing calls for calm from the Pope and other religious leaders, a recent poll shows that at least one-third of Americans say they are willing to risk nuclear war to take down the Russian president in support of Ukraine.
The Pew Research poll conducted on Tuesday found that while only half of Americans have considered the war in Ukraine a threat to the United States, more than a third support direct American intervention and direct conflict with Russia, even if it risks full-on nuclear war. Both Democrats and Republicans said they were equally likely to consider the risk worthwhile.
Despite calls from Ukrainian President Zelensky for a no-fly zone, which has been broadly supported by politicians on both sides of the political aisle, the White House has thus far rejected the idea due to the risks it carries.