Kyiv, 28 August 2023
The Apostolic Nunciature in Ukraine has observed that in the aftermath of Pope Francis’ telematic interaction with young Catholics from the Russian Federation on 25 August 2023, there have been discussions in Ukrainian and international media regarding certain remarks made by the Roman Pontiff during that event. In particular, according to some interpretations, Pope Francis might have encouraged young Russian Catholics to draw inspiration from historical Russian figures known for imperialistic and expansionist ideas and actions that negatively impacted neighboring populations, including the Ukrainian people.
This Pontifical Representation firmly rejects the aforementioned interpretations, as Pope Francis has never endorsed imperialistic notions. On the contrary, he is a staunch opponent and critic of any form of imperialism or colonialism across all peoples and situations. The words of the Roman Pontiff spoken on August 25 are to be understood in this same context.