Vatican envoy called in over Pope ‘white flag’ remarks

Ukraine has summoned the Vatican’s envoy after the Pope said the country should “have the courage to raise the white flag” against Russia.

The BBC is reporting that according to a transcript the Pope said: “The strongest one is the one who looks at the situation, thinks about the people and has the courage of the white flag, and negotiates.”

White flags are traditionally a symbol of surrender on the battlefield. 

A Vatican spokesman later said the Pope was speaking of stopping the fighting through negotiation, not capitulation. Apostolic Nuncio Visvaldas Kulbokas was told Kyiv was “disappointed” by the remarks, the foreign ministry said.

In a statement about the summoning of Archbishop Kulbokas, Ukraine’s foreign ministry “noted that instead of appeals that legalize the right of the strong and encourage them [Russia] to further disregard the norms of international law, the head of the Holy See would be expected to send signals to the world community about the need to immediately join forces to ensure the victory of good over evil, as well as appeals to the attacker, not to the victim.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican compared the Pope’s comments to those who advocated talks with Adolf Hitler during Word War Two. (BBC)

“The Ukrainians are not running out of courage and tenacity,” Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee. “They’re running out of ammunition, and we’re running out of time to help them.”

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