Pope makes personal visit to Russian ambassador
February 25, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis made a highly unusual personal visit on the Russian ambassador to the Holy See on Friday, to voice his distress over the invasion of Ukraine.
“Pope Francis wanted to personally ask about the situation in Donbas and Ukraine,” the ambassador, Alexander Avdeev, told the TASS news agency.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni reported that the Pontiff spend about a half-hour with the Russian ambassador. He did not offer any details of the conversation.
In the world of diplomacy it is rare for a head of state to visit a foreign ambassador; ordinarily the ambassador is summoned to speak with the leader—or, more usually, his foreign minister.
The Pope’s visit was particularly remarkable because the Vatican has disclosed that the Pope has been ordered by doctors to stay off his ailing knee. A scheduled papal trip to Florence has been cancelled for that reason. (See today’s separate CWN headline.)
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