One would think the Pope would condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that he would be against war in any form or fashion.
But not so.
He is quoted as saying
“the barking of NATO at the gates of Russia” is likely what motivated Putin to attack Ukraine.
“I am not going to Kyiv for now; I feel that I must not go. First I must go to Moscow. First I must meet Putin. But I am also a priest, what can I do? I do what I can. If Putin would only open the door…”.
“war cannot be reduced to distinction between good guys and bad guys”
Russian invasion was “perhaps somehow provoked” while again saying there were signs that NATO had been “barking at the gates of Russia” in the run-up.
The Pope is wise. First, he is correct. If you look at the historical expansion of NATO and the encroachment upon Russian strategic interests, you can see why Russia might feel the need for action. Second, his words put him in a position to mediate.
In essence, Russia has already won. They control the territory they need to ensure a land bridge to the Crimea which holds their only warm water navy base.