The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expressed disappointment over the joint participation of Ukrainian and Russian teenagers in the Stations of the Cross in Rome, as it is an attempt to equate the victim of the war unleashed by Russia with the aggressor, distorting the reality into which Russia has immersed Ukrainians.

That’s according to Oleg Nikolenko, MFA Ukraine’s spokesman, who took to Facebook to comment on the issue, Ukrinform reports.

He noted that on Good Friday, a massive religious event took place in Rome - the Cross Procession, which symbolizes the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and faith over despair.

"We are deeply grateful to Pope Francis for his concern for Ukraine and Ukrainians. Unfortunately, we are forced to state that this year's Procession was once again overshadowed by an attempt to equate the victim and aggressor," Nikolenko noted.


He explained that it is about the texts that were recited during the 10th Station of the Cross: on behalf of a Ukrainian teenager who found refuge in Italy after his home city of Mariupol was captured by Russian troops, and a Russian boy whose brother, a soldier, lost his life while his father and grandfather went missing as participants in Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

"We are disappointed that the Holy See took no account of the arguments offered by the Ukrainian side on the offensive nature of such a gesture. The joint participation of the Ukrainian and Russian (teens - ed.) distorts the reality into which Russia plunged Ukrainians, carrying out genocide against them. Moreover, such a step undermines the principles of justice and universal morality, and discredits the concept of peace and brotherhood," spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

He added tha trying to put an equation sign between Ukraine, which is suffering, and Russia, which is causing this suffering, does not contribute to reconciliation.


"Reconciliation can come only after the Ukrainian victory, prosecution of all Russian criminals, repentance for the suffering and asking for forgiveness from the Ukrainians. We expect that the Holy See will continue to adhere to an approach based on a deep understanding of justice and responsibility for the restoration of peace in Ukraine and the establishment of justice," Nikolenko concluded.

As reported earlier, on April 15, 2022, in the Colosseum in Rome, a Cross Procession was held, which was led by Pope Francis. According to the decision made by the Vatican, it was Ukrainian and Russian women who handed over the cross at the 13th Station, which symbolized the reconciliation of nations. Both women work together in a hospice.



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