Speed Reads

jumping the gun

Pope Francis calls for Easter truce in Ukraine

During Palm Sunday Mass on Sunday, Pope Francis called for an Easter truce between Russia and Ukraine. "Let the weapons be put down! Let the Easter truce begin," the pontiff said, according to The New York Times.

He added that the purpose of this truce should not be "to reload weapons and resume fighting" but "to reach peace through real negotiations," The Associated Press reported.

But for the majority of the combatants, it's not Easter week just yet.

For Western Christians — including Roman Catholics — Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week, a commemoration of the final week in the earthly life of Jesus Christ. The week begins with Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, and culminates a week later with the celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Many Eastern churches aligned their calendars with the West after World War I, but the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches did not. This means that, for most Russian and Ukrainian Christians, Francis was a little hasty. This year, Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Easter falls on April 24, which means their Holy Week doesn't begin until April 17.