Pope Francis sent a message to the conference organized for the 60th anniversary of the peace encyclical "Pacem in Terris" issued in 1963 by Pope Ioannes 23, the leader of the Catholic Church between 1958 and 1963.


In his message, the Pope called on societies to eliminate nuclear weapons and to use conventional weapons only in self-defense, according to Vatican News, the Vatican's official media outlet.

"In the tragic situation of the conflict in Ukraine, the threat of resorting to nuclear weapons is not absent, while our world continues to be in the grip of a piecemeal third world war," the Pope said.

Pope Francis noted that the current situation is reminiscent of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when the world was on the brink of a nuclear war.

The spiritual leader of Catholics said that a world free of nuclear weapons is possible and necessary.

The Pope underlined that conventional weapons should only be used for defensive purposes and should not be aimed at civilian targets.