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Pope prays for Ukraine

'Bishops suffering' says Francis

21 February, 11:19
Pope prays for Ukraine (ANSA) - Vatican City, February 21 - Pope Francis on Friday prayed for Ukraine where clashes between police and anti-government protesters left up to 100 dead this week.

The pope sent a message to the local bishops who have been "suffering so much in these days".

Cardinals attending an extraordinary meeting in the Vatican, where Francis will name new 'princes of the Church' Saturday, applauded.

The European Union is set to sign an accord with Kiev Friday to end the bloodshed that has brought the country to the brink of civil war.

The cardinals' meeting, called a consistory, is on the family. It is Francis's first consistory since he became pope last March a month after Benedict XVI's shock resignation.