Pope Thinks Putin Showing “Madness”; World War III Has Started

Pope Francis recently spoke out after Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West that he was not bluffing about considering using nuclear weapons, saying thinking of such acts was “madness.”

Francis also voiced that Ukrainians were being subjected to torture, savageness, and atrocities, calling them a “noble” people who are being martyred. Recently, the Pope, discussing his trip to Kazakhstan for his general audience in St. Peter’s Square, praised the country for giving up its nuclear weapons after its 1991 independence from the Soviet Union.

“This was courageous. At a time in this tragic war where some are thinking of nuclear weapons — which is madness — this country said ‘no’ to nuclear weapons from the start,” said the Pope.

President Putin ordered Russia’s mobilization and backed plans to annex vast swathes of Ukraine. He warned the West he wasn’t bluffing when he said he was willing to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia.

Without naming Putin or Russia, Pope Francis told the crowd of a conversation he had with his charity chief, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who is delivering aid in Ukraine. According to Vatican media, Krajewski, a Polish citizen, had to flee and take cover while under gunfire while assisting a Ukrainian soldier, a Catholic bishop, and a Ukrainian soldier. The media also said Krajewski visited mass graves in northeast Ukraine, in Izium.

“He (Krajewski) told me of the pain of these people, the savage acts, the monstrosity, the tortured bodies they find. Let us unite with these people, so noble and martyred,” said Francis.

Ukrainian officials have said they have located hundreds of bodies, some showing signs of torture and hands tied behind their backs, buried in Ukrainian territories recaptured by Russian forces. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this proved Russian war crimes.

Russia has consistently denied that troops have committed war crimes since it invaded Ukraine. The Kremlin recently rejected claims of abuses in the Kharkiv region as a “lie.”

Pope Francis repeated warnings voiced previously about the world conflict while speaking to an audience of pontifical representatives. He reiterated that the Earth is already engaged in a “piecemeal” World War III. “The tempest of the Covid-19 pandemic has imposed various limitations on our daily lives and our pastoral activities,” said the Pope. “Now it seems that the worst is over, and thanks be to God, we can meet again.”

He continued, “But unfortunately, Europe and the entire world are convulsed by a war of particular gravity, in terms of the violation of international law, the risks of nuclear escalation, and the grave economic and social consequences. It is a ‘piecemeal’ Third World War, to which you bear witness in the places where you carry out your mission.”

Pope Francis previously gave similar warnings

Pope Francis made a similar comment during an audience he held on August 31 when he acknowledged the anniversary of World War II’s beginnings. “Tomorrow, you will remember the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, which so painfully marked the Polish nation.”

In an interview with news outlet La Civilta Cattolica in June, Francis said, “A few years ago, it occurred to me to say that we are experiencing a third world war fought piecemeal. Today, for me, World War III has been declared.”

He also discussed the possibility that the war was “either provoked or not-prevented” and that it appears there is “interest in testing and selling weapons.” Francis previously blamed the war on arms dealers and weapons manufacturers, whom he claimed seemed happy to see their products tested in conflict.

“What is before our eyes is a situation of world war, global interests, arms sales, and geopolitical appropriation, which is martyring a heroic people,” said the Pope.