I don’t think the Pope has many illusions about this regime. So he tried to paint an alternative picture, but he failed.
Not only Peskov, but other pro-Putin and pro-war Russians are now beginning to comment favorably on the Pontiff’s remarks. In fact, they carry on the tradition of manipulating and abusing his lyrics. For example, there have been stories where the Pope spoke via Zoom with the Patriarch of Moscow. His words were interpreted in their own way in Moscow. He had such an experience, which was quite traumatic for him (he shared it later). And again, so to speak, we have what we have. When he said those words, there was such a danger that they would be abused and, in fact, they are being abused.
Why did he say those words? Obviously, first of all, these lyrics were an improvisation and, as far as I know, it did not correspond to the original script of his speech. He delivered the address as it was written, then added those words afterwards. This indicates that, on the one hand, he wanted to say something about himself to establish some kind of contact with his audience. On the other hand, to my knowledge, he intended to show (it was passed on to me by my correspondents in the Vatican) that there is another way for Russia. This path is not linked to Putin, because the Pontiff unequivocally condemns war. He has had the opportunity to say this several times and believes that Russian youth should follow a different path. Of course, he proposed an alternative path, which is hardly better, but on the contrary, it is the same path that led to Putinism. This is an imperial idea, and Putin is pursuing this idea. However, the Pope did not realize this because he did not know enough about the history of Russia and the characters he quoted. Perhaps Peter and Catherine are two of the few characters Pope Francis has heard of and knows about, and that’s why he mentioned them.
Besides, we have seen a rebuttal from the Holy See. Holy See spokesman Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican Press Center, made a statement. According to him, the Pope wanted to “encourage young people to preserve and develop the positive things that are in the great Russian cultural and spiritual heritage. He certainly did not intend to praise the imperialist logic and the leaders he mentioned by pointing out some relevant historical elements. periods.” The Vatican came to its senses, and the Pope himself came to his senses and issued these rebuttals.
he suggested an alternative way, which is not much better
I think the Pope doesn’t have many illusions about today’s Russia, about this regime, that’s why he tried to paint a different picture, without success. But his knowledge of history is very limited, and that’s another problem: on the one hand, there are people around the Pontiff who are certainly in the field, who know this subject and understand what it is. Russian history, who is Peter and who is Catherine. They can play a dual role. Some of his advisers manipulate this knowledge so that he can say things that would be acceptable in Russia. There is, it is true, a particular pro-Russian group around the Holy See. For various reasons, they sympathize with Putin, if not personally, but at least try to rehabilitate something Russian somehow. There is also a group of experts who have the material, but which the Pontiff does not listen to. This is also its trademark policy; he often relies on his intuition and inspiration. Sometimes it works well, as, for example, you remember, it has already become a classic – about Patriarch Kirill, that he is Putin’s altar boy. This is an off-the-cuff statement received very positively in Ukraine, but in Russia it apparently ruined relations between the pope and Patriarch Cyril forever. Sometimes these impromptu speeches, which he intuitively gives on a whim, are very unfortunate, as in the case of Pierre and Catherine.
The pro-Russian lobby around the Pontiff includes different people from different backgrounds, but with a certain common denominator in their upbringing and worldview. These people look at the world through the prism through which the Pontiff was raised to look at the world, through the prism of postcolonialism. It is a philosophical and theological vision of the world formed in the second half of the 20th century, after the Second World War, in relation to the liberation struggles in the former British and Spanish colonies in Latin America. This vision implies a certain bipolarity of the world, where, on the one hand, there are the former colonial powers, among which are now the United States of America; although America was not an empire in the classical sense, it was a colony of the British Empire which was freeing itself from the colonial yoke. But in this worldview, in this bipolar world, America occupies a prominent position as the center of neo-imperial and neo-colonial politics. The rest of the world, including Russia and China, is now a major problem and is colonizing, for example, Africa and other parts of the world where it can reach economically. But for people raised in this postcolonial consciousness, truly neocolonial forces like Russia and China do not make it onto this list of so-called bad countries. It’s actually hard to reconstruct from this bipolar worldview, in which America and the West, on the one hand, are colonial evil, and the rest of the world is good, by definition, simply because it’s not the West.
Ukraine teaches us to rebuild this consciousness. Ukraine demonstrates that this vision of the world no longer works. Because this colonial mentality cannot understand this war, our war is a reality that changes the consciousness of many. This changes the consciousness of the Pontiff, because if we follow his declarations, from for example the Havana Declaration of 2016 until the last one, the evolution is very noticeable. The evolution is going towards a better understanding of Ukraine, an understanding of the fact that the world no longer functions as before.
If we come back to the words of the Pope, he intended to convey an idea that contradicted the official propaganda of Russia. The other thing is that he failed. But we must still, and rightly, perceive the Pope as an ambassador from Ukraine who needs to be advised and helped in one way or another, but certainly not rebuffed or confronted. He is our ambassador in the countries of the South, and his voice is heard there more than any other voice. Even when he makes mistakes, the right messages, he says, are very important for Ukraine. In fact, he can be our ambassador in Russia, where, on the one hand, he is treated even worse than in Ukraine, but on the other, there are Catholics who listen to him, to whom he can transmit important messages, including for us.
In a few weeks the General Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church will be held in Rome, where all the bishops will meet and meet the Pope. It is also a powerful tool for influencing Vatican policy and statements. That’s why we have to exert pressure using this working all-Ukrainian group. Vatican communication on the war in Ukraine has improved considerably. If we don’t take the individual episodes that are really hurtful, but take all of the statements and informational messages.
In the spring, there was talk of a peacekeeping mission, or even of Pope Francis’ formula for peace, which his special envoy, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, brought during his meeting with the President of Ukraine. , among others, then this delegation met with President Biden. However, at the Kremlin, Putin did not come down to meet them; he instructed his adviser, Ushakov, to meet them. Matteo Zuppi, meanwhile, met Lvova-Belova, who is the subject of an arrest warrant in The Hague for the kidnapping of Ukrainian children. But you see what the situation is: Cardinal Zuppi came with a peace formula from the Pope and did not lose hope of promoting this peace formula after his meeting with President Zelensky. But it is obvious that this formula crashed against the wall of the Kremlin. Zuppi realized that no one in the Kremlin would support this peace formula. The peace formula therefore did not succeed. What is essential for Ukraine is that it is not against peace, nor against peace formulas. Ukraine is in favor of it and ready to discuss it. On his own terms, of course. But it turned out that the most real torpedo for the peace formula was actually the Kremlin. Today, Cardinal Zuppi’s mission, and of course, if we look at it more broadly, the pope’s peacekeeping mission, is limited to the humanitarian component. It seems that the efforts of the Vatican envoys are now focused on the return of Ukrainian children, at least some of the Ukrainian children from Russia. There are good hopes that this will happen in the near future. It’s worth waiting to see what happens.
Read the original article at The new voice of Ukraine