Pope Francis has urged parties in the Ukraine war to "have the courage to negotiate", and do so "before things get worse", in an interview broadcast Saturday by Swiss television.

The 87-year-old pontiff was asked by the public broadcaster RTS about a debate within Ukraine on whether to surrender to Russia's invasion.

"I believe that the strongest are those who see the situation, think about the people, and have the courage to raise the white flag and negotiate," he said in the interview, which the Vatican said was conducted in early February.

He added: "That word negotiate is a brave word. When you see that you are defeated, that things are not working out, to have the courage to negotiate."

He said people might feel ashamed but asked how many lives were being lost.

"Today, for example with the war in Ukraine, there are many who want to act as mediators. Turkey for example," he said.

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"Don't be ashamed to negotiate before things get worse."

Speaking about conflict in general, including the Hamas-Israel war, he added: "Negotiations are never a surrender. It is the courage not to carry a country to suicide."

The Vatican's director of communications, Matteo Bruni, later issued a statement seeking to clarify the pope's words.

Francis had used the term white flag "to indicate a cessation of hostilities, a truce reached with the courage of negotiation", Bruni said in a statement published by Vatican News.

He repeated the pontiff's call for a "diplomatic solution in search of a justing and lasting peace" in what Francis calls the "martyred" Ukraine.

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Francis was also asked in the interview about the Israel-Hamas war, where he laid blame on both sides.

"War is made by two, not one. The irresponsible ones are these two who wage war," he told the broadcaster.

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Comments (23)

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Gavan Duffy
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Perhaps the Pope like others realises that without NATO help Ukraine is waging a war of attrition which it must lose. This is no credit to NATO and the US in particular.

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Nowa Jan
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Reverse psychology? Most likely-Pope Francis knows: 1.that Putin can't win the Ukraine war- 2. that Putin already wasted more than 400,000 Russian soldiers. 3. that soon Ukraine will receive more highly sophisticated heavy weapons, Air Defense Systems and more than 200 F-16 from NATO that will freeze Putin to leave Russia forever and can kill more thousands of Russians soldiers who are being forced to fight for Putin-for Putin's subhuman oligarchs. 4. that economic sanctions on Russia are hurting the regular Russians, Putin's subhuman oligarchs, cronies and dummies. Pope Francis must pretend that He is neutral because Vatican doesn't have an Army and not a NATO member. "Be cunning as a serpent."-Christ Jesus. You must see what others can't see. What about forever Israel-Muslim war? Jesus once said that those who don't believe that Jesus is truly the only begotten Son of God are already condemned. Never forget collapse of anti-Christ communism in Europe and in Russia-never forget what Hitler did to millions of European Jews-never forget what happened to Annas, Caiphas and Pontius Pilate-never forget that He didn't stop Benjamin Netanyahu from becoming Prime Minister again.

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GregC
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WOW! this Pope is just an old fool willing to accept Russian genocide against Ukrainians... Definitely this is not a man of God, but of the Devil. crazy to see, he is Argentinian lacks any knowledge of the situation and he should be replaced.

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Manolo delos Reyes
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...unbelievable, I can't understand the Pope is so naive, he's unable to differentiate who is the aggressor and who is the defender in other words the evil and the good. GOD forbids...

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David Steel
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My take from the Pope's comments is that we can march on Vatican City.

We can kidnap their children, rape their women, torture their men to death and reduce the buildings, art and culture of centuries to rubble.

The pope is a man of peace and he will negotiate his surrender to spare any more killing, he will not be ashamed to fly the white flag of surrender. By his logic, our invasion of Vatican City would have been partly Rome's fault because it takes two to make war - how dare they defend themselves.

It's almost an invitation to invade isn't it? That's how Putin would view negotiations with Ukraine, nothing but a sign of supreme weakness.

The first tenet of a governmant is to defend its people.

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ron
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So easy for these keyboard warriors, and corrupt Ukrianian men who brided people to leave the country to say, let's fight to victory. Ukrainian men are being used as pawns in America's war. Very Sad.

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Mark Rockford
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The Pope is apparently willing to negotiate away the sacrifices that Ukraine’s defenders have made. What was the point of defending themselves all this time, only to give up when Russia is on the brink of collapse? The kind of “peace at any cost” he is apparently suggesting will only lead to further aggression from Russia, and likely China in the future.

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Imokru2
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I believe in science, based on fact, and the vast universe, of which we know so little.

The pope is just the most recent of a long series of men who believe that God directed the college of cardinals to choose him as leader of this latest group of men that are of the species Homo sapiens.

As an old man, of course he is fallible just like the rest of us. As a cleric, he has no particular knowledge of politics or war. His opinion therefore carries no more weight than Ernie the plumber down the street.

No, I will go with reality rather than fantasy. I will be humble rather than believe that I am some sort of super being that has a direct pipeline to a god that doesn’t exist except inside our ever faulty imaginations.

So Francis, it is not too late even at your current age to cast aside all that bears no resemblance to reality. In your remaining days, do something to benefit your fellow man. Sell insurance, teach guitar lessons, just do something worthwhile.

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William Spillman
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As my dear long ago departed Polish grandmother, a devout Catholic, once said, "the Pope is a dope." So, this Pope thinks Ukraine has lost (wrong!), that total capitulation to Russia will make things all better (wrong!), and apparently autocracies, dictatorships and presumably Catholic theocracies are the best form of government (wrong!). The history of the Catholic Church completely disproves the beneficial qualities of theocracies, e.g. the inquisition. As usual, the Pope and his church only care about power, money and control. This Pope is particularly inept. Ignore him, Ukraine.

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Edlund
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The Pope doesn't know what he's talking about. I think the Polish Foreign Minister has the best idea. Let Putin summon the courage to withdraw his troops and stop this war! That's the far more effective solution.

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Ule K.
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Everyone of us who is expressing an opinion is doing so because we are all alive. If we are alive is because we are not fighting and sacrificing for anyone else. If we had fought this much maligned war, we would be deeply scarred and not willing to express ourselves so easily. Have you seen the enemy in the eye before sending him to meet the maker? No? Then you do not know war reality.

The "allies" never intended to save Ukraine, whom everyone one sees in the western world as the "Haiti" of Europe. They just intended to bother Russia and demonstrate its inadequate military capabilities. That all has been proven to be true. Even the Haiti stuff is true since the highest ranked Ukrainians are the ones stealing from war efforts, a thing only soulless thugs would do.

Zelensky needs to stop being a buffoon and go away right now. He back stabbed Trump and he can only expect that Trump befriends Putin to end the war with a total and resounding victory for Russia. Get rid of that joker and place someone who has the brains to lead Ukraine to a good deal because all that hardware you are expecting to save you will be delayed a decade. Even if Trump loses, GOP reps in the Congress and Senate will continue to stop all aid to you. It is all about accountability, thievery, and Zelensky. You have run out of chances. You need to accept it.

Steve C
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@Ule K., you’re a loon! Slava Ukraini!

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John
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@Ule K., I'm quite happy to allow Ukrainians to decide their own fate. If they want to keep fighting, I want to keep supporting. Their fight is both moral and legal.

Putins' greed is immoral and his invasion illegal and murderous. Russian has in the past already attempted genocide of the Ukrainian race 3 times.

* 1921-1922 Famine in Ukraine 1.5 million Ukrainians starve to death as food is confiscated and taken out of Ukraine to feed Russian cities. 1


* 1929-1930 De-kulakization: Over 500 000 farmers and families in Ukraine are sent to Siberia, executed, or sent to concentration camps. 


* 1932-1933 Holodomor famine from caused by USSR's Joseph Stalin claimed the lives of 3.9 million Ukrainians or about 13 percent of its population at that time......


***May 2022 report by 30 internationally recognized legal scholars already chronically current acts that constitute genocide attempt in the current war by the Putin regime.

From JUST Security website: "The statements range from formal presidential addresses and articles by Putin and other officials to commentary on Russian state television and on social media. Sources include (but are not limited to) news articles; books; the Kremlin’s online repository of speeches and addresses; Russian state-controlled news agencies, including RIA Novosti and Kommersant; and posts on Twitter and Telegram".

Better allies increase their support fro Ukraines defense.

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ron
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@Ule K., very true. Good point. President Z. needs to come to the negotiation table

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John
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@Jack Griffin, oops sorry troll jack....I did not notice your taunt until after I had already written my comment below on this article.

It did not include a wiki link, but trust given it remains a Ukraine supportive message that it meets with your expectations.

I remain flattered that I'm garnering so much MRGA troll attention...it means I'm on the right track.

Happy Sunday Ukraine supporters.....a great day to do good stuff!

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Chris
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The major thing that this war has shown is the EVIL in this world that is all around us. The pope is the DEVIL in disguise. Disgusting what he said. SLAVA UKRAINI!!!!!

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Dave
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👎

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tony
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Keep fighting Ukraine untill you beat Putin and his mercenaries back where they came from. Don't listen to anyone .That's your country not theirs .

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John
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When I visited the Vatican / museum (?) halls I realized where so many priceless artifacts of the rest of the world ended up. I like nice stuff, but not at the cost of people pushed to donate to help the needy, when it seems the church profited most along the way..... thus the needy not so much.

My donations the last few years help the Ukrainians mostly with their defence. Its so a just cause as they remain united in their fight to survive a neighbouring thugs invasion.

Albeit the catholic church apparently tries to help with returning stolen Ukrainian citizens, certainly this latest statement is not helpful. At any rate it is generous of all suggesting Ukraine surrender now; to offer a similar portion of their assets to Ukraine as compensation for the loss they infer they accept. Also the tithing waiver the Catholic Church infers for any ally paying more than 0.07% GDP towards Ukraine's defence is also a nice touch. It's no like they will get tithes anyways when Kirills cult rules Europe. That's sarcasm folks.

I would have hoped for more Vatican support to bring about a just peace. A peace where an aggressor gets to keep their stolen land after murdering its occupants is not just.

If Ukraine loses an inch it frankly ties back to its allies not fully committing to their defence. Allied / NATO / Church leaders please do better to support Ukraine.

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Stefan
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Pope Francis should keep his mouth shut and go f**k himself instead of commenting on issues he has clearly no clue about.

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Hope
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The West benefits from the events between Russia and Ukraine to sell weapons and enrich the oil producing companies ...The sanctions against Russia may prevail for decades but hope that peace comes with a fair settlement...
They want to weaken Russia as well to set better rules of the world political games favoring their interests as advanced nations  ...
The pope himself is a freemason who sectretely govern the world and have power or at least some big influence in the world .Things could change with time ...

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Jack Griffin
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Troll John from Canada, let’s see the obligatory moronic links from Wikipedia and your dumb take. Can’t wait!

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D Ingonthis
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No one should listen to the Catholic church, they are responsible for millions of deaths since the Popery was founded.

From the birth of Popery in 606 to the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more than fifty million humans have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by Popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand religious murders for every year of the existence of popery." -- "History of Romanism," pp. 541, 542. New York: 1871.

Suggesting that the Ukrainians should surrender to the Russians is the wrong message. He should use some of the Catholic Church's wealth to help defeat the invaders. Do something worthwhile rather than pontificate about the world actively destroyed by the Catholic church.

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