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Pope Francis Proposes To Visit Russia Amidst War With Ukraine

Pope Francis on Tuesday revealed that he had requested a meeting in Moscow with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, over the Ukraine war but had not received any response from Moscow.

The Pope made the disclosure while speaking to Italy’s Corriere Della Sera newspaper where he explained that he had sent a message to Putin 20 days into the conflict adding that he was ready to go to Moscow.

Describing the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as senseless, the pope said;

“We have not yet received a response and we are still insisting, though I fear that Putin cannot, and does not, want to have this meeting at this time…

“I’m not going to Kyiv for now. I feel I shouldn’t go. I have to go to Moscow first, I have to meet Putin first.”

Pope Francis however, stressed that Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Kirill, a close Putin ally, “cannot become Putin’s altar boy”. Recall that dialogue with the Orthodox Church, which separated from the Catholic Church in 1054, is a stated priority of the Pope’s pontificate.

It is worthy to note that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late February, the Vatican’s call for peace has contrasted with Kirill’s approach.

But since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the pope’s calls for peace have contrasted with Kirill’s approach of defending Putin’s military operation in Ukraine and the fight against Russia’s perceived enemies, both internal and external.

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