Pope Francis answered the questions of ‘Corriere della Sera’, an Italian daily. The pope mentioned the prime minister in the interview, who paid his first official visit after the April 3 general elections to the head of the Roman Catholic church. He talked about the Russian invasion adding that he and Orbán discussed the issue during their meeting last month.
The pontiff and the Hungarian prime minister met on April 21 in the Vatican, shortly after Orbán’s fourth consecutive landslide victory. Orbán told him that the Russians had a plan and highlighted the importance of May 9. The leader of the Roman Catholic church said he was pessimistic about the future because he could not see there was enough will for peace – telex.hu reported.
The pope’s words are interesting considering that Secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, said on Monday that Putin warned Orbán about the invasion before February 24.
The pontiff said he did not plan a visit to Ukraine’s capital. He sent a request to meet with Vladimir Putin in Moscow to reestablish peace but received no answer, he added.
“I called Ukrainian president Zelenskiy on the first day of the war. I did not call Putin. I wanted to make an unequivocal gesture” – he said. Then he asked cardinal Parolin on the 20th day of the war to send a message to Putin to set up a meeting. However, they have not received an answer yet from the Kremlin. “I am afraid that Putin cannot and wants not to meet. But how can such brutality be stopped? We experienced the same 25 years ago in Rwanda.
I do not go to Kyiv yet. I sent cardinals Michael Czerny and Konrad Krajewski. But I feel I do not have to go. I must go to Moscow first and meet with Putin. But I am a priest. What could I do? I do what I can. If Putin opened the door…” – Pope Francis told the Italian daily.
The pontiff said that he had a historic zoom meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. However, the Russian religious leader expressed his support for Russia’s intentions in Ukraine and read out all the supporting points for the invasion. The pope said he replied he did not understand anything from that political manifesto but expressed hope the patriarch would not become Putin’s altar boy – Radio Free Europe wrote.
Source: telex.hu, Radio Free Europe