Romaniw on Pope’s statements: Pontiff should be accountable for his words and fight evil, as Jesus did

March 15,2024 433
Romaniw on Pope’s statements: Pontiff should be accountable for his words and fight evil, as Jesus did

In an interview with SBS Ukrainian, Stefan Romaniw, the UWC First Vice President and Co-Chair of the AFUO, said that Pope Francis must be accountable for his words, not justify them. Romaniw thus reacted to the Vatican’s explanation regarding the scandalous statement by the leader of the Catholic Church about the courage to raise the “white flag” in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian World Congress, along with millions of Ukrainian Catholics and believers of other denominations, is outraged by such comments. We reject any Vatican justifications, as we stated immediately, knowing there would be some justifications. The Pope must be held accountable for his words,” said Romaniw.

The Pope supports evil with such statements, added the UWC First Vice President. “We, as believers, see the Pope as the successor of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ died on the cross to defeat evil. The Pope, with his words, not for the first time, supports this evil – Russia – supposedly either does not understand or does not want to understand. I do not believe that the Pope does not understand who the aggressor is. If the Pontiff seeks an end to the war, then he should call on Russia to leave Ukrainian territory and only then talk about negotiations,” Romaniw continued.

The Pope is trying to be a peacemaker but only alienates believers from the church. “The Vatican is trying to justify itself. Remember how the Pope spoke to students in Moscow last year about the greatness of their history? Later, the Vatican had to justify itself again. Everyone who speaks publicly must be accountable for their words. We cannot hide, as the Pope hides and claims that he was misunderstood. People, I think, understood the Pope very well. He has said similar things before,” said the UWC First Vice President.

Romaniw called on the Head of the Catholic Church to visit Ukraine and talk to the relatives of prisoners of war, parents of children illegally deported by Russia, and those who have lost loved ones in the war – to understand the essence of this war. The Pontiff should finally condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the Co-Chair of the AFUO is convinced.

“We are outraged. I called on all our community structures to form an international response: to write letters to papal nuncios worldwide, that is, diplomatic representatives. … The Vatican should have immediately condemned what Russia did in Crimea and eastern Ukraine 10 years ago. The Pope has never condemned it, always trying to find a middle ground, engaging in diplomacy. But there is evil, and Jesus Christ fought evil. I think we all understand that what Russia is doing today is evil; evil must be destroyed, and we expect unequivocal support and apology from our spiritual father,” Romaniw said.

Earlier, the UWC released a statement to the Pontiff urging the Pope to show courage, directly condemn Russia, and acknowledge that it alone bears responsibility for this war.