‘War is a failure of politics and humanity’: Pope declares Putin’s invasion of Ukraine a ‘shameful capitulation’ as he tweets in Russian on the second day of the conflict and visits the embassy to ‘express his concern’
- The Pope spoke out after visiting the Russian embassy in an unprecedented step
- He tweeted that “Every war makes our world worse” in English and Russian.
- Pope Francis has already met Putin in a private audience at the Vatican in 2015.
The Pope intervened on the invasion of Ukraine, calling the conduct of the war a “shameful capitulation” just hours after an unprecedented visit to the Russian embassy.
In a Russian-language tweet on Friday, Pope Francis denounced the aftermath of the conflict on the second day of a large-scale Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
He wrote in separate tweets in English and Russian: “Every war makes our world worse than it was before.
“War is the defeat of politics and humanity, a shameful capitulation, a bitter defeat before the forces of evil.”
Earlier Friday, Pope Francis traveled to the Russian embassy to the Holy See to convey to Moscow’s ambassador his concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in an unprecedented departure from diplomatic protocol.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the Pope spent more than half an hour at the embassy.
Pope Francis has already met Putin in a private audience in a private audience back in 2015.
Firefighters attempt to put out a blaze at a damaged residential building on Koshytsia Street, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, this morning.
A residential building damaged by a rocket on February 25, 2022 in Kiev, Ukraine this morning.
“He went to express his concerns about the war,” Bruni said, declining to give details of the visit or conversation.
Bruni declined to comment on Argentine media reports that the 85-year-old Pope had offered mediation to the Vatican. Ambassador Alexander Avdeev denied this, according to the Rome correspondent of the Russian TASS agency.
Avdeev told RIA Novosti that the meeting lasted about 40 minutes and that the Pope expressed “great concern” about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
The ambassador was quoted as saying that the pope “called for the protection of children, the protection of the sick and the afflicted, and the protection of the people.”
When Reuters contacted the Russian embassy for comment, it said the ambassador was unavailable.
The pope’s visit to the embassy to speak with the ambassador during a conflict is unprecedented in living memory.
The moment a Russian missile hit a fuel depot near the village of Kulinichi near Kharkov in eastern Ukraine.
A huge explosion lit up the night sky and was captured by a Ukrainian family taking refuge in their house nearby.
Foreign envoys are usually summoned by the Secretary of State of the Vatican, or they meet with the pope at the Apostolic Palace.
In an interview with Reuters on February 14, before the invasion, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican, Andriy Yurash, said that Kiev would be open to Vatican mediation in the conflict.
In a statement Thursday, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the Holy See hoped that “a glimmer of conscience” would appear for those in whose hands the fate of the world is in their hands.
World leaders have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of flagrantly violating international law by launching the biggest state-on-state attack in Europe since World War II.
Francis repeatedly called for peace in Ukraine ahead of Thursday’s invasion, but has not spoken publicly since. The following Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, he proclaimed a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine.
The Vatican separately announced on Friday that Francis would not be able to preside over the Ash Wednesday service due to severe knee pain. He will also have to miss a trip to Florence this Sunday.