Mass media: Vatican does not back Washington’s policy in “Ukrainian issue”

Pope Francis greets members of the Ukrainian army in the Vatican, May 2019. Photo: Reuters

The Vatican calls for reconciliation in Ukraine and hopes that with the advent of the new government, the religious situation in the country will change for the better.

The policy of restraint and neutrality of the Vatican in Ukraine diverges from the position of the UGCC subordinate to Rome, which from the very beginning “firmly joined a pro-Western side of the internal conflict of Ukraine”. This is stated in the material on the religious situation in Ukraine, which was published by the authoritative American Journal on the US international affairs and foreign policy Foreign Affairs.

The authors of the article emphasize that from the very beginning of the internal, and then the religious conflict in Ukraine, the Vatican urged Ukrainian Catholics to stay away from politics and not to interfere in the "Orthodox proxy war".

At the same time, Pope Francis is trying to "preach restraint to those on whom he has the greatest influence (in Ukraine – Ed.), i.e. the leaders of the UGCC", and rejects the "confrontational approach of Shevchuk (head of the UGCC – Ed.)" stressing the need for reconciliation and unity not only "between fellow Catholics, but also between Catholics and their Orthodox brothers".

The authors note that the Roman pontiff, who does not want to take sides in the Ukrainian church conflict and maintains diplomatic relations with both the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Church, positively accepted the call for dialogue with which the new President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky addressed Ukrainian religious leaders.

It is also emphasized that the majority of Ukrainians are believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and “many Orthodox do not feel obligated to declare themselves members of a particular church”, which the previous Ukrainian authorities forced them to.

“The Pope’s neutral line towards Ukraine is the latest example of how the Vatican’s Catholic doctrine and diplomacy diverged from US foreign policy preferences since the end of the Cold War (...) According to the Vatican, the US foreign policy after the end of the Cold War was excessively militaristic and neglected the benefits of peaceful diplomacy. In general, the Holy See is concerned that the United States has ceased to exercise its once significant moral influence as a country which should seek to reconcile, promote liberal order and further peace, choosing instead counterproductive hostility,” the authors concluded.

As reported by the UOJ, earlier Pope Francis called on the Ukrainian Uniates to abandon their warlike sentiments.

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