In a Vatican statement, Pope Francis today issued by far his strongest words yet on Russia’s war in Ukraine, calling it “morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, repugnant and sacrilegious.”
The Vatican’s daily news bulletin called for everyone to pray to “rebuild peace” and the “defense of human life and the values connected to it, and not as political positions.”
In the bulletin, the Pope also responded to some of the criticism he’s faced due to his recent comments concerning the death of Darya Dugina, the daughter of Russian ultranationalist firebrand Alexander Dugin.
Dugina was killed after a bomb planted in a car she was driving went off in the outskirts of Moscow on Aug. 20.
Last week, the Pope said: “I think of that poor girl who was blown up by a bomb that was under her car seat in Moscow. The innocent pay for war, the innocent.”
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) have blamed Ukrainian special services for the murder of Dugina; however, Ukraine has denied any involvement, calling the FSB claims fiction.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted last week by expressing disappointment over the Pope’s statement, saying it “unjustly” equates “the aggressor and the victim.”