Pope Under Fire After Calling For ‘White Flag’

Ukrainian and allied authorities voiced their disapproval of Pope Francis’ remarks about the need for Ukraine to summon up the bravery to negotiate a ceasefire with Russia. It was widely seen as a demand for Ukraine’s surrender.

While arguing that Ukraine, facing the prospect of defeat, should be receptive to peace negotiations mediated by international powers, Francis used the expression ‘courage of the white flag’ in an interview with a Swiss broadcaster.

After accusing the Vatican of inaction in the face of Nazi Germany, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba took to X to urge the Holy See to learn from its past sins. However, he invited Pope Francis to visit Ukraine, stating that the pope’s presence would demonstrate solidarity with all Christians in Ukraine.

A Ukrainian Christian church leader claimed that only the country’s steadfast resistance to Moscow’s full-scale invasion, started by Russia’s Putin on Feb. 24, 2022, saved a mass killing of citizens.

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has said that the Ukrainian people are not considering capitulation.  Francis told the media that having the guts to negotiate is essential when losing and that talks are never a capitulation.

As opposed to an unequivocal Ukrainian surrender, the Vatican has made clear that Pope Francis favors a moratorium and a truce reached through negotiation.

While interrogating Francis, a correspondent employed the phrase “white flag” to denote a negotiation-based ceasefire and an end to hostilities. The Vatican Press Office said that negotiations in no way constitute a capitulation and that the most powerful individual is the one who assesses the circumstances and considers the citizenry.  Negotiations in no way constitute a surrender.

Zelenskyy has previously stressed that the invaded nation must lead peace discussions, but Ukraine was still reluctant to cooperate with Russia.

While he has expressed an understanding of Russia’s invasion rationale, Pope Francis adheres to the Vatican’s conventional stance of diplomatic neutrality. He also mentioned that NATO’s eastward expansion was hostile to Russia.

In his Sunday prayers, he asked for an end to the violence in the Holy Land and Ukraine and asked that the pain that has been caused by it end.