Pope Rebuked by Ukrainian Bishops for Praising Russia

Ukraine’s Eastern Rite Catholic bishops told Pope Francis on Wednesday that his recent comments in which he lauded the “great Russian Empire” caused “pain, suffering” and “a certain disappointment” among Ukrainians.

During the meeting at the Vatican, they said the remarks were “painful and difficult for the Ukrainian people, who are currently bleeding in the struggle for their dignity and independence.”

In a video message to young Catholic Russians on August 25, the 86-year-old pontiff said they should remember they were “children of great Russia, of great saints, of kings, of Peter the Great, of Catherine II, of a Russian people of great culture and great humanity”.

Referencing the fact that the Kremlin had welcomed the Pope’s remarks, the Ukrainian bishops added they had been “used by Russian propaganda to justify and support the murderous ideology of the ‘Russian World’.”

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