Pope Francis on Russia: “Dialoge with the aggressor smells, but it must be done”

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16/09/2022
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The war in Ukraine was the focus for much of Pope Francis' conversation with journalists on the return flight from Kazakhstan.

The Pope said that he does not exclude engaging in dialogue with countries that start wars, though he qualified his statement by saying how difficult establishing dialogue with Russia may be.

POPE FRANCIS
Sometimes dialogue must be done like this, but it has to be done. It smells bad, but it has to be done. Always one step ahead, an outstretched hand, always. Because otherwise we close the only reasonable door to peace.

The Pope said supplying weapons to Ukraine may be morally acceptable, but that it depends on the intention. 

POPE FRANCIS
It can be immoral if it is done with the intention of provoking more war or selling weapons or discarding those weapons that are no longer needed. The motivation is what largely qualifies the morality of this act.

He was also asked about other complicated political situations, such as in Nicaragua, where the government expelled the Vatican's ambassador from the country as well as religious congregations such as Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. The Pope said there is ongoing communication between the Holy See and the government, and acknowledged that its actions are difficult to understand.

POPE FRANCIS
These things are difficult to understand and swallow.
There has been contact with the government, there is dialogue. This doesn't mean that one approves of everything the government is doing, or disapproves, no.

A journalist asked Pope Francis about euthanasia, and his response was blunt. 

POPE FRANCIS
To kill is not human, period. If you kill with motivations, you will then kill more. Let's leave killing to beasts.

He also spoke about his recurrent knee pain. While he said it continues to be a struggle, the Pope said he hopes to keep traveling. In fact, he said he will travel next to Bahrain, and that he would like to go to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo next February.

JRB
TR: JM

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