The pontiff said weapons shipments can be acceptable for self-defense, but not if the intention is to “make more war”
Supplying Kiev with weapons may be a morally justified thing to do under certain conditions, Pope Francis said on Thursday when asked about nations arming Ukraine.
Speaking to journalists on his plane as he returned from a three-day trip to Kazakhstan, the pope explained that motivation played a key part in judging whether an action was morally acceptable or not.
Selling weapons to another nation can be “morally acceptable if done under the conditions of morality,” he said. But an arms shipment “can be immoral if done with intentions of making more war” or to profit from it in some way, he added, as quoted by the Catholic News Service.
The cause of self-defense is “not only licit, it’s also an expression of love toward one’s homeland,” the pope explained.
Pope Francis reflected on the Catholic concept of a “just war” and how the lines were often blurred, especially since there are currently hostilities ongoing in many places. Russia served as a peacekeeper in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but at the same time has engaged in military action against Ukraine, he pointed out.
Like many other public figures, the pope condemned Russia for sending troops into Ukraine in late February, but some of his positions on the conflict angered Kiev. Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican, Andrey Yurash, chastised him last month for condemning the bomb assassination of Russian journalist and political commentator Darya Dugina.
Russia has accused Ukraine of sending the suspected killer into Russia, which Kiev has denied. The pope called the bombing victim a “poor girl” and lamented how the conflict was claiming lives on all sides. Kiev has implied that Dugina, the daughter of controversial Russian philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, was killed by the Russian government in a false flag operation.