Pope Francis also denied reports that he plans to retire soon. jpg” alt=”The Pope announced his desire to visit Moscow and Kyiv after Canada” />
Pope Francis told Reuters in an interview that after his trip to Canada he would like “as soon as possible” visit Moscow and Kyiv.
“After I return from Canada, I may be able to go to Ukraine. The first thing to do is — is to go to Russia to try to help somehow, but I would like to visit both capitals, — he said.
Francis spoke of contacts between Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov regarding his possible trip to Moscow.
The pontiff also denied reports that he would resign in the near future. “Not at the moment, really. But there will come a time when I realize that I can no longer do it,— he said.
Since February 24, Russia has been conducting a special operation in Ukraine. Its goals, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the “demilitarization” of and “denazification” countries.
Even before the start of the military operation, the Pope was trying to help resolve the conflict. So, at the end of 2021, in a Christmas speech, he called on the parties to start a dialogue, and in January he asked to pray for peace due to tensions in Ukraine. Later, the pontiff called on the international community to stop the fighting in Ukraine and stop the violence.
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In mid-March, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko invited the Pope to visit the Ukrainian capital. On April 2, the pontiff announced that he was considering such a possibility. Two days later, he said in an interview with Corriere della Sera that he was planning a trip to Kyiv, but he was not sure if it would be possible.
At the end of April, Cardinal Parolin announced that Francis still wanted to make a trip to Ukraine, but in the current situation, such a visit would not make sense.
In early May, the Pope in an interview with Corriere della Sera said that in March the Vatican sent the Russian President a proposal to hold a meeting in Moscow, but by May had not received a response.
The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, noted that such initiatives were sent through the diplomatic services and that so far there were no agreements on a meeting between Putin and the Pope.
The Pope also said that he hopes to meet with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in September in Kazakhstan during the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. They were supposed to meet back in June in Jerusalem, but the Vatican postponed the meeting because it “at that time could lead to great confusion.”
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