I don’t know why the director of Catholic Civilization, Antonio Spadaro, slammed the title given by the press (“NATO provoked Putin”) to forestall his conversation with Pope Francis. This his tweet on Tuesday: “Unfortunately, this quoted title is fake. I protested with @LaStampa. In fact, there is no conversation ».
It is enough to read the full text of the conversation to verify how the Pope mentions again – he had already done so with the Corriere della Sera, for example – an anonymous head of state who, before the conflict, said NATO was “To the Doors of Russia are barking ».
For the avoidance of doubt, the pope does not limit himself to reporting on the verdict, but expressly praises the interlocutor as a wise man who is able to “read the signs of what happened”. So what would be the difference between saying that NATO “barked at the gates of Russia” before the war broke out, and saying that “NATO Putin has provoked”? Leaving aside the always deplorable Italian habit of citing summaries, one could say that the version of the press weakens the power of the image used by Pope Francis. Certainly it does not change its meaning in anything.
Since this is a conversation between a Jesuit Pope and the editors of the European magazines of the Society of Jesus, I would be tempted, in order not to offend anyone, to explain it as an excess of Jesuitism, at least on the part of the director of Catholic civilization. Trouble is, the rest of the conversation was even more explicit.
Of course, I don’t want to venture into the interpretation of the Pope’s thoughts, but am concerned about the many who have gotten grist into their mills with his words in the last few days.
After all, Spadaro himself recalled directly in the press on April 20 that “Francis clearly defined the conflict as “unacceptable armed aggression”, “disgusting war”, “senseless massacre”, “invasion of Ukraine”, “barbarism””, more sacrilegious Act” ». Definitions that appear unequivocal and which I carefully do not contest. On the other hand, who today, even among the most staunch opponents of supporting Ukraine, does not begin every speech by repeating that it is very clear who the aggressor is and who is attacking him? But if the Pope thinks so too, and I’m personally not at all sure about that, we have to admit that it is difficult to find in spirit and also in the letter what is said in conversation with the editors of the Jesuit magazines.
“What we are seeing is the brutality and ferocity with which this war is being waged by the troops, who are generally mercenaries and are being used by the Russians,” Pope Francis said. Then he adds: “But the danger is that we only see what is egregious and we don’t see the full drama that is unfolding behind this war that may have been somehow provoked or not prevented. And I’m registering an interest in testing and selling weapons. It’s very sad, but basically that’s what’s at stake ».
It is clear to whom the Pope is referring when, for example, hypothesizing that the war was “provoked,” let alone the value of this general reference to the interests behind the ability to “test and sell weapons.” , which would even be the case with the true stakes.
One can argue that the war was unleashed by Vladimir Putin for imperialist reasons with the sole purpose of taking over Ukraine, and on the contrary one can say that it is a “proxy war” provoked by the American Lobby of Arms and maybe even by Big Pharma (melius abundare quam deficere, the Latins said long before Totò); but arguing or alluding to either leads to more confusion than clarity.
The fact is that immediately after the sentence just quoted, Pope Francis himself adds what, to remain in Latinisms, has an excusatio non petita: “You can tell me at this point: But you are for Putin! No they are not. It would be easy and wrong to say such a thing. I’m just against reducing complexity to the distinction between good and bad without thinking about roots and interests that are very complex. While we see the ferocity, the cruelty of the Russian troops, we must not forget the problems to try to solve them ».
It may be that behind so many apparent contradictions there are very noble reasons connected to the secret arts of Vatican diplomacy, or perhaps even to superior powers that I, as a materialistic atheist, fail to see. But one thing is certain: the jubilation of many who, in recent days, immediately shielded themselves from the Pope’s words to rekindle the usual arguments against supporting Ukraine, which simply translates into increased pressure to seek aid for Hiring the “attacked” is the advantage of the aggressor, it is not difficult to discern the final result of certain speeches.
In fact, one can say that there is no good or evil in this war, and on the contrary one can say that we are convinced on the side of the victim, that is, Ukraine; but neither can be denied. It can be said that in this conflict it is very clear who is the aggressor and who is being attacked, and on the contrary it can be said that this war started long before February 24, the day of Russian aggression; but one of two. One can say that things are very clear and one can argue on the contrary that they are not at all, but it cannot be argued that they are both very clear and shrouded in darkness, sorry, because the light cannot be toggled on and off at the time itself due to the “contradiction it doesn’t allow”. Amicus Papa, Sed Magi’s friend Logic.