Pope to Ukraine: “Be Courageous and Negotiate”

Pope Francis gave an interview to Swiss radio and television about the conflict: “Negotiation is never capitulation. It's courage not to drive the country to suicide.” On Gaza: “Two people are waging war, they're irresponsible.”

Pope Francis was a guest on the Swiss Radio and Television (RSI) program “Cliché.” The Swiss broadcaster’s website has published a preview of a long interview with Lorenzo Buccella, which will be broadcast in its entirety on Wednesday, March 20.

When asked about the possibility of Ukraine’s capitulation, His Holiness replied: “I believe that the stronger ones are those who see the situation, those who think of the people, those who have the courage to raise the white flag for negotiations. And this can be negotiated today with the help of international powers. The word ‘negotiation’ is a bold word. When you see that you are failing, that things are not going well, you have to have the courage to negotiate. This is shameful, but how many deaths will this end with? Negotiate in time, look for some country to mediate. Today, for example, there are many willing mediators in the war in Ukraine. Turkey has offered itself for this purpose. And others. Don’t be ashamed to negotiate before the situation worsens.”

Also: “Negotiations never mean capitulation. It takes courage not to drive the country to suicide. Ukrainians, with the history that they have, poor things, Ukrainians under Stalin, how they suffered…”

On another bloody conflict taking place in Gaza, Pope Francis explained: “Every day at seven o’clock in the evening, I call the parish in Gaza. Six hundred people live there and tell what they see: it’s war. And war is made by two men, not one. Irresponsible are the two who wage war. Also, there is not only military warfare, there is ‘guerrilla warfare’ so to speak, such as Hamas, a movement that is not an army. That’s bad.”

Francis is also asked how the “great lands” react when peace is asked for. “There are those who say this is true, but we must defend ourselves…” the pontiff explains. “And then you realize they have an airplane factory to bomb others. To protect themselves – no, to destroy. How does a war end? With death, destruction, children without parents. There is always some geographical or historical situation that triggers a war… It may be a war that seems right for practical reasons. But behind the war is the war industry, and that means money.”