Pope Francis exchanged views with young people in Russia via video call. The young women and men also asked him questions about the Ukraine war. Diplomacy is treading a road where unity counts for more than conflict, said the Pope. It is about understanding the position of the other and reducing mistakes. “Diplomacy builds, not destroys.”
The mission press service Fides did not report on Friday whether Francis also commented on the peace mission he had initiated himself. The Pope’s special envoy, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, has already held diplomatic talks in Ukraine, Russia and the United States. He will soon be traveling to China.
Russian Youth Meeting
The video transmission took place during the Russian Youth Meeting in Saint Petersburg, which according to Fides is a continuation of this year’s World Youth Day in Lisbon.
Around 500 young people from Ukraine also traveled to the multi-day giant event at the beginning of August with the Pope and hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world. Francis personally received a small group of them. 18 young people from Russia were there.
400 young people took part
According to Fides, 400 young people took part in the Russian version of the event. The conversation with the Pope was broadcast in the Basilica of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. As in Lisbon, he assured the youth of the love and presence of God in Saint Petersburg. The Church is like a mother that excludes no one.
The Russian Youth Meeting started on Wednesday and will end on Sunday. In the Russian Federation, it is estimated that fewer than one million of the approximately 145 million inhabitants are Catholic.