Ukraine chastises Pope Francis for Russian imperial apologia speech

28 August, 11:38 PM
Pope Francis (Photo:Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS)

Pope Francis (Photo:Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS)

In his recent speech, Pope Francis has extolled the supposed virtues of Russia’s imperial past, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said in a Facebook post on Aug. 28.

In his message, Nikolenko noted that such imperial propaganda is used by the Kremlin to justify the killing of thousands of Ukrainians and the destruction of hundreds of Ukrainian towns and villages.

"It's very disappointing that Russian great-power ideas, which are, indeed, the cause of Russia's chronic aggression, consciously or unconsciously, echo from the Pope, whose mission, as we understand it, is precisely to open the eyes of Russian youth to the ruinous course of the current Russian leadership," he wrote.

Video of day

The pontiff addressed Russian youth during the All-Russian Catholic Youth Meeting in St. Petersburg on Aug. 25 via a video message and urged them “not to forget their heritage,” the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Moscow said in a message on its website.

“You are heirs of the great Russia: the great Russia of saints, of rulers, the great Russia of Peter I, Catherine II, that empire — great, enlightened, [a country] of great culture and great humanity,” the pope said.

“Never renounce this legacy, you are heirs of the great Mother Russia, go on with this. And thank you. Thank you for your way of being, for your way of being Russians.”

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