Pope Francis says he has asked to meet Putin in Moscow

Pope Francis said he has asked for a meeting in Moscow to help bring about an end to the war and warned that Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, a key backer of President Vladimir Putin’s fight against Ukraine, should not become Putin’s “altar boy.”

The pope’s remarks came in an interview published on May 3 in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

In it, the pope revealed that 20 days after the war began, he asked the Vatican’s top diplomat, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to communicate with Russia that Francis was ready to travel there in an effort to bring about an end to the conflict, which he likened to what took place in Rwanda 25 years ago. Although the pope did not use the word, the Vatican has recognized the 1994 violence by the Hutus against the Tutsis, which left more than 800,000 people dead, as a genocide.

“We have not yet had an answer and we are still insisting,” the pope said of his request to meet with the Russian leader.

Link to National Catholic Reporter online for full article:


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