Vatican City, 20 April 2016 – After today's catechesis, the Pope launched a new appeal for the people of Ukraine, "long suffering as a consequence of the armed conflict that many have forgotten", and he recalled his recent invitation to the Church in Europe to support the initiative to alleviate this humanitarian emergency. He thanked all those who will participate in the extraordinary collection organised in European parishes next Sunday, 24 April.
The Holy Father also addressed pilgrims from Ukraine and Belarus, present in Rome for the international conference on the 30th anniversary of the explosion in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. "As we renew our prayers for the victims of the disaster, let us express our gratitude to rescue and aid workers and for all the initiatives that have aimed to alleviate suffering and limit damages".
In his greetings in French he mentioned in particular the deacons of Mans and the altar boys of Périgueux, as well as the seminary of Ars and the Joy of the Gospel group from Grenoble.
He also addressed Brazilian pilgrims of the Work of Mary Community, faithful from the Russian Federation, especially those from the diocese of St. Clement in Saratov, and he gave a warm welcome to the seminarians from the German interdiocesan seminary of Sankt Lambert de Burg Lantershofen and to those of the Ecclesia Mundi Foundation.
In Italian he greeted the doctors participating in the European Congress on Pain Control and Palliative Care, the pilgrimage of the Apostolic Movement, the women religious of the Union of Major Superiors of Italy and the "Help them to live" Foundation in Terni.