Pope Francis has volunteered to act as mediator to end the “war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine.”
Beginning February 25, the day after Russia invaded the country, in a gesture of how seriously the pope is taking the attack on Ukraine, he paid a visit to the Russian Embassy in the Vatican.
Then, despite talks between Russia and Ukraine on February 28 ending without any agreement, a leading diplomat for Pope Francis said that the Vatican is prepared to “facilitate dialogue” between the two countries in an effort to “avoid any escalation, stop clashes and negotiate.”
On February 28, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state said, “Above all, the military attack must stop immediately. We are all witness to its tragic consequences.” And the cardinal expressed the Vatican’s belief that there is “always room for negotiations.”
The only way to avoid the threat of the conflict spilling into other parts of Europe, Parolin said, was to negotiate—and in a manner that averts a “possible return to a new cold war with two opposing blocs.”
“I take advantage of this occasion,” Parolin said, “to renew the pressing invitation that the Holy Father made during his visit to the Russian Embassy to the Holy See, to stop the fighting and return to negotiations.”
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