Pope considers arms deliveries to be justifiable

PFor the first time, Pope Francis has publicly announced arms deliveries to the Ukraine considered morally justifiable under certain conditions. It is not only permissible to use armed force to defend one's homeland against an attack from outside, this is also morally imperative as an "expression of love for the fatherland", he told journalists traveling with him on Thursday evening during the return flight from Kazakhstan to Rome. The decision to support a victim of aggression in self-defense is therefore also morally justified in view of the Church's teaching on just war.

Matthias Rub

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

On the other hand, the decision could weapons shipments but also "being immoral," the Pope continued, provided "the intention behind it is to foment the war or to sell or give away weapons that one can no longer use oneself". It is therefore the motivation of those who deliver the weapons that "largely determines the moral character of this action".

Francis: "We are in a world war"

Pope Francis had not previously commented so clearly on arms deliveries and Ukraine's right to self-defense. In early May, in an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, when asked whether it was right to deliver arms to Ukraine, he replied: "I can't say that, I'm too far away for that". Only Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and Vatican Foreign Minister Paul Gallagher had expressly affirmed Ukraine's right to self-defense. Previously, accusations had grown louder that the Vatican did not side with Ukraine clearly enough and did not explicitly name Putin as an aggressor.

Pope Francis attended a two-day meeting of religious leaders in Nur-Sultan, calling for greater commitment to world peace. "Everyone always talks about peace," the Pope repeated at the traditional press conference on the plane, a thought he had repeatedly expressed in speeches in Kazakhstan: "The United Nations has been talking about peace for 70 years. But how many wars are raging again today?” The Pope also repeated the assessment that “we are in a world war” in front of the journalists traveling with him on the plane.

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