Turning to Ukraine, the Holy Father said that arming the country “can be morally acceptable,” recalling that “to defend oneself is not only lawful but also an expression of love of country.” He affirmed the right of a nation to defend itself when necessary.
Discussing dialogue with Russia, Pope Francis said that “it is always difficult to understand dialogue with the states which have started the war … It is difficult, but we should not dismiss it, to give the opportunity for dialogue to everyone, to everyone. Because there is always the possibility that with dialogue things can change, even offering another point of view, another point of consideration.”
He continued: “But I do not exclude dialogue with any power that is at war, even if it is the aggressor. Sometimes dialogue should be done like this, but it has to be done. It stinks, but it has to be done. Always one step forward. The hand outstretched, always, because with the opposite we close the only reasonable door for peace. Sometimes they do not accept dialogue — it’s a shame — but dialogue always goes forward, it’s at least offered. And this is good for he who offers.”
On the risk of indifferentism, Pope Francis said that “if there is no dialogue there is either ignorance or war. Better to live as brothers; we have one thing in common, we are all human. Let’s live as humans, with good manners: What do you think, what do I think? Let’s agree, let’s talk, let’s get to know each other.”
Elaborating on his discussion of the degeneracy of the West, Pope Francis asked, “What has the West lost, to forget to welcome?” He noted its need for population growth, considering “the demographic winter which we have. We need people, both in Spain, in Spain especially, but also in Italy.”
To this end, he emphasized the need to welcome, promote, and integrate immigrants.
The pope cautioned against populism and said the West “may be … expiring a little bit.”
“But we have to take the values back. Europe should take the values of the fathers who founded the European Union — those great ones,” he said, having referred earlier to Ven. Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer, and Alcide De Gasperi.