Pope negotiates with Russia to release Ukrainian prisoners

“When I received the list of prisoners, both civilian and military, I sent them to the Russian government and the response was always very positive,” Pope Francis revealed today in an interview published by the North American Jesuit newspaper ‘America’.

Francis, who has been criticized in the past for allegedly being vague about Russia’s conflict with Ukraine by not mentioning Russian President Vladimir Putin by name, speaks of Ukraine as a “martyred people, a martyred people.”

“If there are sacrificed people, there is one who sacrifices them. “When I talk about Ukraine, I talk about brutality, because I have a lot of information about the arrival of troops,” the head of the Catholic Church said.

“Of course the aggressor is the Russian state. That much is clear. Although sometimes it is clear who I condemn, I try not to offend and condemn in general terms. There is no need to enter the name and surname. Why do I not recommend Putin? Because it is not necessary, it was already known. With Putin, Everyone knows what my position is, not with Putin, without naming him,” the Pope added.

Francis recalled that on the second day of the invasion, in an unusual gesture for a pope, he visited the Russian embassy, ​​at which point he said he told the ambassador to inform Putin that he was ready to travel. He left “a small window for negotiation”. .

In the interview, he explained that he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky three times on the phone and decided that if he were to travel, he would go to Moscow and Kiev. Until the occupation”, it received representatives of the Ukrainian government on several occasions.

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However, he reiterated that “seeking peace and seeking understanding is the posture of His Holiness” and that “Holy See’s diplomacy is moving in that direction and apparently always available to mediate.”

The Pope also referred to internal issues in the Catholic Church, such as the opening of the priesthood to women, saying that it was a “theological question” and that an opening to women was not foreseen, but that it could not be seen as “” scarcity”.

“The theology of women has not yet been developed, there is only the possibility of an administrative principle,” the Pope said, highlighting the role of women.

“Women see the mystery of mothers and the church better than men. That’s why a woman’s advice is so important. And a woman’s decision is best. When a woman enters politics or administration, she usually does very well. Also, there are many economists who are trying to renew the economy in a constructive sense. ,” he said.

Asked about racism within the US Catholic Church, the Pope described it as an “intolerable sin” and the sexual abuse of minors, which he considered “heinous”.

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