Pope went to Russian Embassy in Rome to express concerns over Ukraine conflict
Pope Francis made a personal visit to the Russian Embassy in Rome in order to “express his concern about the war” Russia is launching in Ukraine, according to multiple reports.
Francis also met with the Russian ambassador to the Vatican while at the embassy, speaking with the ambassador for more than an hour and a half. These are all considered to be unusual actions for a pontiff, outside of normal papal protocol, CNN reported.
Typically, popes host ambassadors and heads of state in the Vatican and usually the pope would summon the ambassador to the Vatican to speak to them, ABC News noted.
“The Holy See press office confirms that the pope went to the Russian Embassy to the Holy See on Via della Conciliazione, clearly to express his concern about the war. He was there for just over a half-hour,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told ABC, confirming Fracnis’ visit.
Francis has called for the peaceful end of the conflict in Ukraine and is urging Catholics to set Wednesday aside as a day of fasting and prayer dedicated to peace in Ukraine, notes ABC.
However, the pope has yet to expressly criticize Russia for its actions over what is believed to be concerns of antagonizing the Russian Orthodox Church, ABC reports.
The Vatican recently announced that Francis would not be traveling to Florence as planned for Ash Wednesday commemorations because of a flare-up of the 85-year-old’s knee pain, which, according to ABC, has limited his mobility as of late.