The Archbishop of Wellington, Cardinal John Dew, says Pope Francis is deeply concerned that the invasion is justified as a holy war.
In recent weeks, Russian Patriarch Kirill has used religious language to justify his support for Russia’s military aggression.
Even Cyril’s own fans are looking elsewhere, says Rosa.
“The invasion has led to new ecumenical tensions. As a result, about 160 Russian Orthodox parishes around the world have tried to join other communities. “
Dew says New Zealand Church leaders, along with many others around the world, wrote to Cyril, expressing “great concern for his religious justification for the war and asking him to use his influence in Moscow to end it.”
Cyril’s use of religious language to justify his support for Russia’s military aggression does not impress Pope Francis, who recently rejected Patriarch Cyril’s idea that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a “holy war.”
During his Sunday address and blessing, Francis continued his veiled criticism of Russia, calling the conflict in Ukraine an unjustified “senseless massacre.”
“Unfortunately, the violent aggression against Ukraine is not slowing down,” he told about 30,000 people in St. Peter’s Square.
“This is a senseless massacre where massacres and atrocities are repeated every day,” Franciszek said in his latest strong condemnation of the war, which has so far avoided mentioning Russia’s name.
“There is no excuse for that,” he added.
Moscow says the action, which it launched on February 24, is a “special military operation” designed not to occupy territory but to demilitarize a neighbor and purge those who consider dangerous nationalists. Francis has already rejected this terminology.
“I ask all players in the international community to truly commit to ending this disgusting war,” the Pope said, eliciting loud applause and applause.
“Even this week, rockets and bombs hit civilians, the elderly, children and pregnant mothers,” he said.