08/30/2022, 17.09
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Ukraine war: Pope defends human life, takes no political stance

The Vatican Press Office issued a statement to clarify the pope’s words about the Ukraine war that sparked a  controversy last week. Meanwhile, the College of Cardinals ends its two-day in-camera meeting centred on the pope’s Roman Curia reform. The role of the laity was a top issue discussed.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Vatican Press Office issued a statement following the recent controversy over what Pope Francis said last Wednesday at the general audience six months after the start of the war in Ukraine.

The press release notes that that “the Holy Father's words on this dramatic issue should be interpreted as a voice raised in defence of human life and the values associated with it, and not as a political stance.”

Last week, Francis expressed sorrow over the “Ukrainian children and Russian children who have become orphans” because of this madness and extended his condolences for the killing of Darya Dugina in an attack in Moscow.

This led the Ukrainian government to summon the apostolic nuncio in Kyiv.

The statement by the Vatican Press Office goes on to say that the Holy Father Francis’s words are a call for “pastors and the faithful” to pray, and for “people of good will” to express solidarity and undertake “efforts to rebuild peace.”

“As for the large-scale war in Ukraine, initiated by the Russian Federation, the Holy Father Francis' interventions are clear and unequivocal in condemning it as morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, repugnant and sacrilegious.

The press release comes on the last day of a two-day in-camera meeting by the College of Cardinals at the Vatican. Some 200 cardinals, patriarchs, and dicastery chiefs are present.

Held on the pope’s initiative, the meeting’s agenda included discussions on the reform of the Roman Curia promulgated a few months ago in the Praedicate Evangelium Apostolic Constitution.

A first session held by separate language groups was followed by several sessions during which the College met in plenary assembly.

According to Vatican News, topics included staff training, the spirituality of the Roman Curia, as well as the laity and their possible decision-making role in some dicasteries, which the apostolic constitution expressly provides for.

The meeting will end this afternoon with a solemn Mass concelebrated by Pope Francis with the new cardinals created last Saturday in the consistory.

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