Pope hits out at ‘infantile and destructive’ aggression

WelCom May 2022 Pope Francis has given Russia’s President Vladimir Putin the edge of his tongue for launching a ‘savage’ war. The pope was speaking during a two-day visit to…

WelCom May 2022

Pope hits out at ‘infantile and destructive’ aggression Archdiocese of Wellington
Papal envoy Cardinal Konrad Krajewski prays at a mass grave in Ukraine on Good Friday. Eighty bodies were buried in the grave. Photo: Vatican Media

Pope Francis has given Russia’s President Vladimir Putin the edge of his tongue for launching a ‘savage’ war.

The pope was speaking during a two-day visit to the island of Malta last month.

Rather than use the Russian president’s name, Francis instead referred to Putin as ‘some potentate’ who had unleashed the threat of nuclear war on the world in an ‘infantile and destructive aggression’ under the guise of ‘anachronist claims of nationalistic interests’.

‘From the east of Europe, from the land of the sunrise, the dark shadows of war have now spread. We had thought that invasions of other countries, savage street fighting and atomic threats were grim memories of a distant past,’ the Pope said.

The ‘icy winds of war, which bring only death, destruction and hatred in their wake, have swept down powerfully upon the lives of many people and affected us all,’ Pope Francis said.

Moscow denies targeting civilians in its so-called ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine. It claims this ‘operation’ – aka ‘war’ to the rest of the world including the Pope – is meant not to occupy territory but to demilitarise and ‘de-nazify’ its neighbour.

The Vatican, which in recent years has forged unprecedented new relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, has offered itself as a potential mediator. So far, the offer hasn’t been taken up, although the Pope has had several invitations to visit as a messenger of peace.

The Pope also criticised the armaments industry and expressed distress at the fading enthusiasm for peace that emerged after World War Two.

The clash of interests and ideologies have ‘re-emerged powerfully in the seductions of autocracy, new forms of imperialism and widespread aggressiveness,’ he said.

Sources: Global News, Reuters, Vatican Media