Alice Green | Aug 6, 2022 | 3
Pope Francis Speaks on Russian Invasion – Pro Russia?
Pope Francis is being criticized for his response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, particularly relating to comments about Russia being “provoked” by NATO.
“I am simply against turning a complex situation into a distinction between good guys and bad guys, without considering the roots and self-interests, which are very complex,” Francis said during an interview with the Jesuit review La Civiltà Cattolica. “While we witness the ferocity and cruelty of Russian troops, we should not forget the problems, and seek to solve them.”
Francis explained to La Civiltà Cattolica that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is particularly offensive to the West and that is why people have paid more attention to this conflict than to current wars Nigeria, Congo, and Myanmar.
“War cannot be reduced to distinction between good guys and bad guys,” he continued. “Something global is emerging and the elements are very much entwined.”
Francis added that he spoke with a “very wise” head of state a couple of months before the invasion. Apparently, that person expressed concerns about the direction in which NATO was heading. “They are barking at the gates of Russia,” said Francis, quoting his anonymous source. “And they don’t understand that the Russians are imperial and they will not allow any foreign power to approach them…The situation could lead to war.”
The West is right to be angered by Russia’s use of mercenaries to fight in Ukraine, continued Francis, but that anger is distracting them from understanding the situation objectively.
“We do not see the whole drama unfolding behind this war, which was, perhaps, somehow either provoked or not prevented,” said the Pontiff, who went on to explain that Russia expected its invasion to be over within a week but has met unexpected resistance and bravery from the Ukrainian people.
“Today, for me, World War III has been declared. This is something that should give us pause for thought. What is happening to humanity that has had three world wars in a century?”
Francis also expressed concerns about the way the invasion of Ukraine and other conflicts has benefitted the arms industry in the West. “It is very sad, but at the end of the day that is what is at stake.”
The Pope’s interview concluded with his request for La Civiltà Cattolica to focus on ‘the human drama and dimension of war’ including casualties and the perspectives of those who have lost loved ones. “Reflecting on this would greatly help humanity and the Church,” said Francis. “Carry out your socio-political reflections, but do not neglect the human dimension of war.”
A prime example of this is the plight of female Ukrainian refugees whose husbands are either fighting or trapped, he added. “We need to look beyond the concrete action of the moment, and see how we will support them so that they don’t fall into human trafficking or end up being used, because the vultures are already circling.”