Pope’s Statement That Ukraine Should Consider Surrender To Russia Incites Fury

(PatriotWise.com) — Officials in Ukraine as well as some of its allies expressed anger with the pope for urging the country to have “the courage of the white flag” and negotiate an end to the 2-year war, NBC News reported.

In an interview that aired on RSI in Switzerland over the weekend, Pope Francis suggested that a country that is defeated should have the courage to come to the negotiating table to bring an end to the war.

The comment outraged officials in Kyiv, including President Volodomyr Zelesnky.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba slammed the pope’s “white flag” reference in a post on X, saying that Ukraine’s yellow and blue flag was the one under which the country would “live, die, and prevail” and Ukraine would “never raise any other flag.”

Kuleba made a veiled reference to the Catholic Church’s failure to stand up to the Nazis in World War Two and urged the Vatican not to repeat “the mistakes of the past.”

During his nightly address to the country on Sunday, President Zelensky referred to the pope’s remarks without naming the pontiff, saying that the reason Russia’s “murderers and torturers” have not marched further into Europe was that armed Ukrainians “under the blue and yellow flag” have held them back.

Zelensky noted that Ukraine had many homes and churches with “white walls” that were “scorched and ruined” by Russian artillery and suggested that those ruined buildings showed who needed to stop fighting to bring an end to the war.

Andrii Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican, told NBC News that his country could not believe that the pope was suggesting that the victim rather than the aggressor should be urged to raise a white flag.

He said those who fought against Hitler’s aggression were not the ones urged to “start peace negotiations,” since doing so would have meant “suicide and death.” Yurash said the same could be said about negotiating a truce with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Some of Ukraine’s allies, including Polish Foreign Minister Rodolslaw Sikorski and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, also criticized the pope’s remarks, with Stoltenberg noting that surrender was not peace and Sikorski suggesting that it was Putin who should “have the courage to withdraw” from Ukraine.

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