Papal envoy summoned by Kiev officials to explain Pope Francis’ comments on Moscow car bomb

Ukraine has castigated Pope Francis after he equated the suffering of Ukrainian civilians with the death of Darya Dugina, the daughter of a Russian propagandist, who died in a car bomb in Moscow.

Kraine summoned the Pope’s ambassador to Kyiv to protest statements by Pope Francis who appeared to give equal weight to the death of Ms Dugina, 29, a staunch supporter of the Russian invasion, with innocent Ukrainian victims.

During his weekly audience at the Vatican this week, the pope said: “I think of this poor girl who was blown up by a bomb placed under the seat of her car in Moscow. Innocents pay the price of war, innocents.”

Many Ukrainians were outraged that the Pope equated the death of Ms Dugina, whose father Alexander Dugin is a close ally of Vladimir Putin, with Ukrainian civilians killed by Moscow’s bombs, bullets and rockets.

“The hearts of Ukrainians are torn by the Pope’s words. It was unfair,” Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, told reporters in Kyiv after the Vatican’s nuncio, or ambassador, Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas was summoned.

“We carefully studied the full quote from Pope Francis. We have decided to summon the Apostolic Nuncio to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to express Ukraine’s disappointment with his words.”

He said Ukraine hopes that “in the future the Holy See will avoid unjust declarations that lead to disappointments in Ukrainian society.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican, Andrii Yurash, previously called the pope’s comments “disappointing” because they appeared to equate “aggressor and victim, rapist and raped.”

Moscow has accused Ukraine of being behind the car bombing, an accusation Kyiv has vehemently denied, suggesting it may have been carried out by elements within Russian intelligence.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022] Papal envoy summoned by Kiev officials to explain Pope Francis’ comments on Moscow car bomb

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