In an interview with an Argentine newspaper, the sovereign pontiff spoke about the Ukrainian conflict and responded to media criticism accusing him of not taking a sufficient position.
“I’m ready to do anything to stop the war, anything, do you hear me?” The interview granted by Pope Francis to the Nation was a rambling hike that took place on April 22, 2022.
This is an interview carried out despite the fatigue and pain of a pope forced to limp because of a torn ligament in the knee: “the recovery of the ligaments is slower at my age”, confides François smiling .
A suffering that does not prevent him from answering the burning questions of the news. When asked why he never points the finger of responsibility for the Ukrainian conflict at Vladimir Putin or Russia, the Argentine pontiff replies that a “pope could never directly appoint a head of state, even less an entire country, who is somehow superior to his leader”. of state.”
The controversy over the alleged “silence of Francis” began at the beginning of the war by the media, which took advantage of it to tarnish the image of the pope. To these, Francis responds by warning them against “the four temptations of journalists: false news, slander, defamation and coprophilia”.
On the Ukrainian file, the sovereign pontiff confides that two cardinals of his entourage think that they expect, for the most part, that the war will end in the first days of May, but “no one can be sure of what’s really going to happen.” he added.
On the plane that took him from Rome to Malta on Saturday April 2, the sovereign pontiff had mentioned to journalists that a proposal was “on the table” to go to kyiv. The Mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, had officially invited Pope Francis to visit his city besieged by the Russians, on March 8, 2022. Bishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine, had forwarded the invitation to the Secretariat of State of the Holy -Seat. .
A diplomatic source contacted by the I.Media agency, however, felt that such a trip could be frowned upon by the Russian authorities and the Orthodox Church. The Holy See would then break with its role as a possible mediator: “The Pope cannot visit one part of this conflict without visiting the other. Vatican diplomacy always seeks to respect this balance.
In the interview with the Nation, the pope dispels any misunderstanding: “I cannot do anything that jeopardizes higher objectives, which are the end of the war, a truce or, at least, a humanitarian corridor. What good is the pope going to kyiv if the war continues the next day? explains Francois.
No trip to kyiv, no second meeting with the leader of the Russian Orthodox. It is not without a certain bitterness that Francis broaches the subject: “I regret that the Vatican had to postpone our second meeting with Patriarch Cyril, which was to be held next June, in Jerusalem”, confirms Francis who specifies that Vatican diplomacy “estimated that such a summit at that time could lead to a lot of confusion.”
In any case, if there is a country that the sovereign pontiff intends to visit, it is Argentina: “I want to see my country again, because I have never forgotten it”, slips François, with nostalgia, to the end of the interview.