Official defends Vatican neutrality in Ukraine conflict

Archbishop Paul Gallagher (Vatican News)

The Vatican’s foreign minister has defended the Church for remaining neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, explaining that the Holy See never entered into alliances. Source: The Tablet.

The Vatican’s chief aim in the Ukraine conflict was to work towards peace and possibly to act as a mediator between the two warring sides, Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Paul Gallagher told German Catholic podcast Himmelklar on July 26.

Asked why the Vatican had remained strictly neutral and not sided with Ukrainian victims and why the Pope had not named Russia the aggressor, Archbishop Gallagher explained that the Holy See never entered into alliances.

“If you form an alliance with someone you at the same time enter into an alliance against someone,” Archbishop Gallagher said.

“The Holy See has a universal mission. It is not that we do not see who the aggressor is and who the victim. One cannot simply speak of good and evil. Things are not that simple. Our approach is to work towards peace – and possibly to act as mediator.”

The Vatican was not, however, neutral in its reaction to the suffering in the Ukraine, Archbishop Gallagher pointed out. It was “neutral but not ethically indifferent”.

“I can understand that people always want one to take sides in a conflict – but that has never helped anyone in the course of history. The Vatican has offered to help and especially to help Ukraine – but we must reserve a certain amount of openness on all sides as far as ecumenical and political dialogue is concerned. The aim must always be peace. That is a fundamental part of our Christian faith and our Christian ethic.”

FULL STORY

Gallagher defends Vatican neutrality in Ukraine conflict (by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, Jonathan Luxmoore, The Tablet

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