He Vatican tried on Tuesday to de-escalate a dispute with Ukraine after the Pope Francisco praise the heritage of “great Russia” in a speech addressed to young Russian Catholics.
“They are children of great Russia, of great saints, of kings, of Peter the Greatof Catherine IIof a Russian people of great culture and great humanity,” declared the Dad by videoconference to a group of young people gathered in a church in St. Petersburg.
“Never forget this great legacy. You are heirs to the great Mother Russiago ahead with it,” he added according to the video posted online.
The spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenkodescribed the Pope’s language as “very unfortunate”.
“It is with this type of imperialist propaganda (…) that the Kremlin justifies the murder of thousands of Ukrainians and the destruction of hundreds of Ukrainian cities and towns,” he said Monday night.
“It is very regrettable that Russian ideas of great power, which are, in fact, the cause of the chronic aggressiveness of Russiaconsciously or unconsciously come out of the mouth of the pope, whose mission, in our understanding, is precisely to open the eyes of the Russian youth to the destructive course of the current Russian leadership,” he added.
The spokesman for Vatican, Matteo Bruni, He said on Tuesday that the pontiff’s “off-the-cuff” comments were intended to “encourage young Russians to preserve and promote what is positive in Russia’s great cultural and spiritual heritage.”
“And certainly not to exalt imperialist logic and government personalities,” he added. Bruni.
An appeal for peace from the Pope
He Pope Francisco regularly makes appeals for peace in Ukrainealthough in the first months after the Russian invasion of February 2022 he received criticism for not pointing out Moscow as aggressor.
Earlier this year he appointed a high-ranking cardinal to try to broker peace, who has since visited Moscow and kyiv.