War in Ukraine: Pope Francis wants to meet Vladimir Putin to try to stop the war!
Steph Deschamps / May 3, 2022
Pope Francis says he is ready to travel to Moscow to see Russian President Vladimir Putin and try to stop the fighting in Ukraine, which he compares to Rwanda in an interview with Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera published Tuesday.
Referring to the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, Francis said he called on the phone Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky the first day of the war.
On the other hand, I did not call Putin. I spoke to him in December, for my birthday, but this time I did not call, added the Argentinean Pope.
Then, after 20 days of war, I asked Cardinal (Pietro) Parolin, the Vatican's number two, to send a message to Putin that I was willing to go to Moscow, he continued.
We have not yet received an answer and we are still insisting, even if I fear that Putin cannot and will not have this meeting now, added Pope Francis.
How can we not stop all this brutality? We saw the same thing 25 years ago with Rwanda, he added, referring to the 1994 genocide in which 800,000 people, mainly from the Tutsi minority, were killed, according to the UN.
The pontiff has also ruled out visiting Kiev for the time being, despite invitations from the Ukrainians.
In Kiev, I'm not going for the moment, he said, recalling that he had sent two cardinals there. I feel I must not go, he insisted.
I must first go to Moscow, I must first meet with Putin said Pope Francis, who has made repeated calls for an end to the fighting in Ukraine.
He also mentioned a meeting by video conference with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and close ally of Vladimir Putin.
For the first twenty minutes, with a paper in hand, he read me all sorts of justifications for the war. I listened and said to him, 'I don't understand any of this. We can't use the language of politics but the language of Jesus, Francis said.