General Audience, 3 August 2022 General Audience, 3 August 2022 

Ukraine, the Holy See: Pope defends life rather than taking political positions

In response to polemics that have arisen in recent days concerning the words of Pope Francis, a communiqué from the Holy See cites the Pope’s “numerous” interventions concerning the war, and recalls that he has always condemned the Russian aggression as “morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, repugnant, and sacrilegious.”

By Vatican News

The Pope speaks as a pastor who defends every human life, and not as a politician: that is the correct lens through which to view his numerous interventions concerning the war in Ukraine.

This is the affirmation of a communiqué from the Holy See, released one week after the words of Pope Francis at the Audience of Wednesday, 24 August, and his mention of the attack in which the daughter of Russian political analyst Alexander Dugin lost her life in Russia – words which have provoked controversial reactions at the political and institutional level in Ukraine.

“In the context of the war in Ukraine,” reads the Holy See communiqué, “there are numerous interventions by the Holy Father Francis and his collaborators in this regard. For the most part, they are aimed at inviting pastors and the faithful to prayer, and all people of good will to solidarity and efforts to rebuild peace.”

“On more than one occasion, as in recent days, public discussions have arisen on the political significance to be attributed to such interventions. In this regard, it is reiterated that the Holy Father’s words on this dramatic issue should be interpreted as a voice raised in defence of human life and the values associated with it, and not as a political stance.”

“As for the large-scale war in Ukraine, initiated by the Russian Federation,” the Holy See communiqué concludes, “the Holy Father Francis' interventions are clear and unequivocal in condemning it as morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, repugnant, and sacrilegious.”

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30 August 2022, 12:05