Ukrainians bring help to area residents near the bombed out building in Dnipro Ukrainians bring help to area residents near the bombed out building in Dnipro  (AFP or licensors)

Pope calls for prayers for Nigerian priest and suffering Ukrainians

Pope Francis is urging everyone to pray for the soul of a Nigerian priest who was murdered last Sunday, and to continue to remember and pray for the suffering people of Ukraine.

By Vatican News staff reporter

At the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis asked everyone to remember in their prayers the many Christians who suffer violence directly.

He spoke in particular about Father Isaac Achi of the Diocese of Minna in northern Nigeria, who was murdered last Sunday in his parish residence. 

Bandits targeted Fr. Achi and assistant parish priest, Fr. Collins Omeh, at the rectory of Sts Peter and Paul Church, in Kafin-Koro, in the Paikoro region.

The unidentified assailants set fire to the residence, burning Fr. Achi alive, and shot and injured Fr. Omeh as he attempted to escape. 

Consolation and peace for Ukraine

The Pope then turned his thoughts to "battered Ukraine", calling on everyone to remember the people in their prayers as they greatly need "our closeness, consolation, and above all peace."

He also recalled the latest missile attack that took place last Saturday killing and injuring many civilians, among them children, saying he shares in the "heartbreaking pain" of the families.

“The images and the testimonies of this tragic episode are a powerful appeal to our consciences. No one can remain indifferent!”

Media reports say 45 people died and 79 were wounded in a Russian missile strike that hit an apartament building in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro on Saturday. 19 remain missing.

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18 January 2023, 10:02