Vatican diplomat Archbishop Paul Gallagher last week defended what he described as Pope Francis’ “strong and courageous” push for peace in Ukraine in the face of criticism from some who have said the Holy Father should take a harder line against Russia as the aggressor in the conflict. Source: National Catholic Register.
Speaking in Rome at a presentation of the newly released Ukrainian Lessons, published by the geopolitical magazine Limes, the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States acknowledged that many Ukrainians have experienced “profound disappointment” at the Holy Father’s statements on Ukraine, L’Osservatore Romano reported.
“What moves the Holy Father is nothing but the will to make dialogue and peace possible,” Archbishop Gallagher said, “inspired by the principle that ‘the Church must not use the language of politics, but the language of Jesus’.”
Francis has often raised the issue of the war, calling it a “negation of God’s dream” and lamenting “the sacrifice of human lives, the suffering of the population, the indiscriminate destruction of civilian structures”.
Quoting partly from Ukrainian Lessons, Archbishop Gallagher said that “interpreting [Pope Francis’ positions] as ‘acts of empty pacifism’ and ‘theatrical’ expressions of ‘pious desire’” is a misguided analysis of what the Pope believes.
Such a dismissal, Archbishop Gallagher said, “does not do justice to the vision and intentions of the Holy Father, who does not want to resign himself to the war and who stubbornly believes in peace, inviting everyone to be creative and courageous weavers and artisans of peace.”
The Pope “clearly said that he made the distinction between aggressor and attacked, with the incontestable certainty that the whole world knows well which is which,” Archbishop Gallagher argued.
Vatican Diplomat: Pope Francis ‘Stubbornly Believes in Peace’ (By Daniel Payne, National Catholic Register)