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Pope anxious to meet with Putin

May 03, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has indicated that he wants to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and would travel to Moscow for that purpose if the Russian leader “would only open the door.”

The Pope has also expressed impatience with the failure of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said: “The Patriarch cannot become Putin’s altar boy.”

In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the Pope said that he had sent a message to Putin, requesting a meeting, but has not yet received a response from Moscow.

(In February, shortly after the beginning of the Russian offensive against Ukraine, Pope Francis made a personal visit to the Russian embassy in Rome. At that time there were unconfirmed reports that Putin had declined to accept a phone call from the Pontiff.)

The Pope suggested that Western leaders bear some responsibility for the war in Ukraine, saying that “NATO’s barking at Russia’s door” had prompted Putin to “react badly and unleash the conflict.”

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 04, 2022 7:07 PM ET USA

    Reasoned discourse by the Pope: "Pope Francis spoke of 'an anger facilitated' perhaps, by 'NATO's barking at Russia's door' that has led the Kremlin to 'react badly and unleash the conflict. I don't know how to answer--I'm too far away--the question of whether it is right to supply the Ukrainians,' he reasoned. 'The clear thing is that weapons are being tested there...This is why wars are waged: to test the weapons we have produced. Few people are fighting this trade, but more should be done.'"