Illustration photo – Pope Francis in the Vatican on February 22, 2023.
Vatican – A world war is taking place in Ukraine, in which all powers, not only Russia, are defending their interests. For them, nations come second. Pope Francis said this in an interview with the Swiss television RSI. He reiterated that he is ready to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin about peace. Part of the interview was published today, for example, by the Vatican News server, the entire interview will be broadcast by RSI on Sunday, on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Francis.
“This is another world war. It started piecemeal, but now no one can say that it is not a world conflict. Great powers are involved and Ukraine is the battlefield,” the Pope said. “That's how the arms industry comes to mind. One expert told me: if no weapons were produced for a year, the problem of world hunger would be solved. It's a market, wars are fought, old weapons are sold and new ones are tested,” added František.
The Pope, who met with Putin several times before the war in Ukraine, recalled in the interview that the day after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February, he suggested to Moscow that he would meet with Putin. But he got the answer that it was not the right time for that. “Putin knows I'm available,” the Pope said now. “But there are imperial interests, not only of Russia, but also of other powers. This is typical of the empire, that it puts the nation second,” said the head of the Catholic Church.
In an interview with Swiss television, the Pope also said , that he is not thinking about resigning, as his predecessor Benedict XVI did for health reasons in 2013. Francis said he would only do so if his health prevented him from having a clear view of things around him. “Fatigue that would prevent me from seeing things clearly. The inability to assess the situation clearly. And of course also a physical problem,” the Pope said.
Francis also said that he was a little ashamed that he had to use a wheelchair. But the recovery is going well, he added.