VATICAN CITY ( Associated Press) — Pope Francis told an Italian newspaper that he has offered to travel to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin and try to help end the war in Ukraine, but has yet to respond. has not come.
Francis said he made the offer through Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin about three weeks after the invasion began.
Over the decades, various popes have tried to visit Moscow as part of their efforts to repair ties with the Russian Orthodox Church, which split from Rome more than 1,000 years ago. But he never received the invitation.
“Of course, it will be necessary for the Kremlin leader to present a window of opportunity. But we have not received an answer and we continue to push, although I fear that Putin cannot or does not want to have this meeting at the moment,” Francisco was quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera newspaper.
Francisco, who recalled that he spoke for 40 minutes by videoconferencing with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Cyril, in March and during the first half, “paper in hand, he read the justification for war.”
“I listened to him and I said: ‘I don’t understand any of this. Brother, we are not priests of the state, we cannot use the language of politics but that of Jesus… for that we need peace. We have to find a way for them to stop firing their weapons.
Francis has recently given interviews to relevant media to emphasize his call to end the war and bring humanitarian relief to Ukrainians. He publicly defended his decision not to condemn Putin or Russia because the Pope said no. But he named Putin in his remarks to Corriere and apparently compared the genocide in Ukraine to the genocide in Rwanda a quarter of a century ago.
“Such cruelty, how can you not try to stop it? We saw the same in Rwanda 25 years ago.