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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis' responses to questions on giving weapons to Ukraine, dialogue with Russia

On his return flight from Kazakhstan, Pope Francis was asked whether arms should be given to Ukraine, and if there is a point at which the Vatican would no longer be willing to engage in talks with Moscow.

It is a political decision, which can be moral—morally accepted—if it is done according to the conditions of morality, which are many. But 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. To defend oneself is not only lawful, but is also an expression of love of country. Those who do not defend themselves, those who do not defend something, do not love it, instead those who defend, love. There you get into something else I have spoken on in my speeches, that the concept of just war must be further reflected upon.

I don't exclude dialogue with any power, whether it's at war, even if it's the aggressor. 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.