Rome Newsroom, Aug 29, 2023 / 10:34 am
After the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church expressed “great pain and concern” at Pope Francis’ recent video message to young Russian Catholics, the Vatican said that the pope did not intend to exalt Russian imperialism.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Tuesday that “the pope intended to encourage young people to preserve and promote what is positive in Russia’s great cultural and spiritual heritage, and certainly not to glorify imperialistic logic and government personalities.”
The statement came in response to concern from Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church over Pope Francis’ words referring to “the great Russia of Peter I, Catherine II, that great and enlightened Russian empire of much culture and much humanity.”
Pope Francis made the comment while speaking off the cuff during a live video conference with Russian youth on Aug. 25.