ROME – A senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has labeled Pope Francis as “pro-Russian” and “not credible,” flatly rejecting any prospect that the Vatican would possibly play mediating function within the present Russian warfare within the nation.
The advisor additionally instructed that the pope’s line on the warfare could also be influenced by Russian investments within the Vatican financial institution.
Pope Francis “unknowingly is cancelling the repute of the Holy See,” mentioned Mykhailo Podolyak in an interview with Ukraine’s Channel 24 information service on Friday.
“It doesn’t make sense to talk of a mediator referred to as the pope if he assumes a pro-Russian place, which is obvious to everybody,” Podolyak mentioned. “It wasn’t the primary time, however earlier than it occurred in a considerably confused approach and we pretended to not see.”
Podolyak, a senior advisor to the Workplace of the President in Ukraine, spoke within the wake of an issue that erupted in late August after Pope Francis praised the legacy of “Nice Mom Russia” in a video convention with Russian Catholic youth gathered in St. Petersburg.
Francis tried to clean issues over in feedback to reporters aboard the papal airplane after his current go to to Mongolia, insisting that he wasn’t praising Russian imperialism however moderately its tradition. Podolyak, nonetheless, clearly wasn’t persuaded.
“In the present day it’s clear he has a pro-Russian place, and this displays in an especially destructive approach on the warfare,” Podolyak mentioned. “If an individual clearly promotes the appropriate of Russia to kill the residents of one other nation on one other sovereign territory, he’s selling the warfare. We now have to name issues by title.”
“The Vatican can’t have any function of mediation: It will deceive Ukraine, or justice,” Podolyak mentioned.
The advisor to Zelensky additionally implied that monetary issues could play a job within the pope’s messaging on the warfare.
“We now have to take a look at the investments that Russia is making within the Vatican financial institution,” he mentioned. “Why does a rustic referred to as the Vatican take such an odd place? We now have to research this in a extra detailed approach.”
Podolyak didn’t present any particulars concerning that alleged Russian stake within the Vatican financial institution, which is formally referred to as the Institute for the Works of Faith and usually accepts deposits solely from spiritual orders and different approved Catholic entities all over the world.
Podolyak’s important feedback on Pope Francis and the Vatican come at a time when the pope’s private envoy for the Ukraine battle, Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, is making ready to journey to Beijing, after having made visits to Kyiv, Moscow and Washington, D.C., in an try and play a mediating function, starting with humanitarian questions such because the return of Ukrainian youngsters eliminated by Russian forces from the jap a part of the nation.
Though Pope Francis repeatedly has expressed his solidarity with the Ukrainian folks from the start of the warfare, he has additionally kept away from instantly condemning Russia or Putin, often producing consternation not solely from authorities officers in Ukraine but in addition his personal Catholic flock within the nation.
Amid the tempest over the “Nice Mom Russia” feedback, Main Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, issued a press release saying the pontiff’s phrases precipitated “nice ache and concern.”
The bishops of the six-million-strong Greek Catholic Church, the biggest of the jap church buildings in communion with Rome, are at the moment in Rome for a synod assembly.
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After a Sept. 6 encounter with the pontiff, the Ukrainian bishops launched a press release saying they’d a “frank dialog,” throughout which they mentioned they expressed “the Ukrainian folks’s ache, struggling, and a sure disappointment.”
The bishops mentioned they expressed that sure gestures and statements by the pontiff “are painful and tough for the Ukrainian folks, who’re at the moment bleeding within the battle for his or her dignity and independence.”
A few of these gestures and statements, the bishops mentioned, are being utilized by “Russian propaganda” to justify “the murderous ideology of the ‘Russian World.’”