Vatican Issues Communiqué in Response to Controversy Surrounding Pope Francis' Remarks in Response to the Death of Darya Dugina
At the Vatican, on August 24th, Pope Francis repeated an appeal for peace and spoke of the victims of war. As an example, the pope mentioned "that poor girl flown into the air because of a bomb under her car seat in Moscow. The innocent pay for war. The innocent." Vatican News later confirmed the Holy Father was referring to the August 20th killing of Dugina. She served as press secretary for her father, Alexander Dugin -- an anti-communist, ultranationalist philosopher who promoted the reclaiming of Russia's former territories. Some reports speculated the father was probably the intended target of the attack, and although Russia blamed Ukraine, there is speculation about the actual perpetrator.
Pope Francis' comments about the girl's death also elicited an immediate response from Andrii Yurash, Ukraine's ambassador to the Holy See, who spoke of it on several social media platforms. "Today's speech of the pope was disappointing and made me think" about how it is impossible to "speak in the same categories about aggressor and victim, rapist and raped," he said on Twitter.
Today’s speech ofPope was disappointing& made me think about many things: can’t speak inSame categories aboutАggressor &Victim, Rapist and Raped; howPossible To Mention 1of ideologists of🇷🇺ImperialismAs innocent victim?She wasKilledBy russiansAsSacredVictim &isNowOn Shield ofWar pic.twitter.com/GvvM7zJDCa— Andrii Yurash (@AndriiYurash) August 24, 2022
In response to this controversy, the Vatican released on August 30th, 2022, the following Message:
Communiqué of the Holy See, 30.08.2022
In the context of the war in Ukraine, there are numerous interventions by the Holy Father Francis and his collaborators in this regard. They mostly have as their purpose that of inviting Pastors and faithful to prayer, and all people of good will to solidarity and efforts to rebuild peace.
On more than one occasion, as well as in recent days, public discussions have arisen on the political significance to be attributed to such interventions.
In this regard, it is reiterated that the words of the Holy Father on this dramatic question must be read as a voice raised in defense of human life and the values connected to it, and not as political stances. As for the large-scale war in Ukraine, initiated by the Russian Federation, the interventions of the Holy Father Francis are clear and unambiguous in condemning it as morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, repugnant and sacrilegious.