Pope Francis wants to go to Moscow: Pope Francis said on Tuesday that he had requested a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow over the Ukraine war, but there was no response. The pope told Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper that he had sent a message to Putin saying “I am ready to go to Moscow”. “We have not received a response yet and we are still insisting, although I fear that Putin cannot and does not want to have this meeting at this time,” he said.
The pope has repeatedly called for peace in Ukraine and condemned a “brutal and senseless war”, but never named Putin or Moscow. The head of the Roman Catholic Church also said that he would not travel to Ukraine any time soon. He said, “I am not going to Kyiv for now. I think I should not. I have to go to Moscow first, I have to meet Putin first.”
Pope Francis also said that Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, a close aide of the Russian president, “could not be Putin’s alter boy.” Explain that communion with the Orthodox Church, which split from the Catholic Church in 1054, is a declared priority of the Pontificate of Francis.
However, since Russia’s attack on Ukraine on 24 February, the pope’s call for peace contradicts Kirill’s approach. Kirill has defended Putin’s “military campaign” in Ukraine and Russia’s fight against “enemies external and internal”.
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