Pope Francis has expressed the opinion that arms dealers are interested in the war in Ukraine: “The interests in this war are not just those related to the Ukrainian-Russian problem but to the sale of weapons, the commerce of weapons.”
Source: Pope Francis on board a plane returning from a trip to Marseille, France; Reuters
Quote from Francis: “It seems to me that the interests in this war are not just those related to the Ukrainian-Russian problem but to the sale of weapons, the commerce of weapons.
We should not play games with the martyrdom of this people. We have to help them resolve things … I see now that some countries are moving backwards, not wanting to give (Ukraine) arms. A process is starting in which the martyr certainly will be the Ukrainian people and that is an ugly thing.”
Details: Pope Francis suggested on Saturday that some countries are “playing games” with Ukraine, first providing weapons and then consider reneging on their commitments.
Francis made the comments in response to a reporter’s question about whether he was upset that his efforts to bring peace had failed. He said he felt “some frustration” and then started speaking about the military industry and the war.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni clarified Francis’ words. Bruni emphasised that the Pope does not take a position on whether countries should continue to send weapons to Ukraine or stop sending them: “It was a reflection on the consequences of the arms industry: the pope, with a paradox, was saying that those who traffic in weapons never pay the consequences of their choices but leave them to be paid by people, like the Ukrainians, who have been martyred.”
On 25 August, Francis addressed participants of the 10th All-Russian Day of Catholic Youth in St. Petersburg. In his speech, the Pope said, “Never forget your inheritance. You are the heirs of the great Russia. The great Russia of the saints, of the kings, of the great Russia of Peter the Great, of Catherine II, that great imperial Russia, cultivated, with so much culture and humanity,” Francis said, according to the video clip. “Never forget this inheritance. You are the heirs of the great Mother Russia, go forward. And thank you. Thank you for your way of being, for your way of being Russian.”
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry responded to the Pope’s words, saying that Francis is spreading Russian great-power ideas, which the Kremlin uses to justify the murders of Ukrainians.
In early September, Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishops met with Pope Francis and told him that praising Russia’s imperial past “hurt the Ukrainian people”.
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