Pope Francis said in an interview published on Tuesday that he asked for a meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. via the Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to try to stop the war in Ukraine about three weeks into the conflict. Until now, the Pontiff not received answer. „We are still insisting,” the Pope added. The pope’s emissary remained in Kyiv. Previously, Pope Francis made declarations against atrocities but not explicitly condemning Russia. However he described the war in Ukraine as a “macabre regression of humanity” and said the city of Mariupol had been “barbarously bombarded and destroyed.” , He called this war an “infantile and destructive aggression” during a trip to Malta. Francis said that when he had a 40-minute video conference with Kirill on March 16, the patriarch spent half of it reading from a sheet of paper “with all the justifications for the war”. „The patriarch cannot become Putin’s altar boy,” Francis appreciated.
“Of course, it would be necessary for the leader of the Kremlin to make available some window of opportunity,” Pope declared. Pope Francis defended the right of Ukrainians to protect their territory from the Russian invasion, in line with Catholic social doctrine. His call is for an end to the war and initiatives to provide humanitarian relief to Ukrainians.