Vatican position on Ukraine war disappointing says deputy FM

Pawel Jablonski said the Vatican was trying to find justifications for the war, saying only that peace is important. Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

The Vatican's position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine is "very disappointing" a Polish deputy foreign minister has said, adding that Polish diplomacy was working to change the Holy See's stance.

Pawel Jablonski said the Vatican was trying to find justifications for the war, saying only that peace is important.

He told the private Telwizja Republika broadcaster that "greater and real" activity by the capital of the Catholic Church was essential, adding that the Polish Church and other religious communities as well as organisations like Catholic charity Caritas Polska are organising collections and are very strongly engaged in aiding Ukraine.

"Unfortunately, the position of the Holy See is very disappointing," Jablonski told the TV station. "Attempts to find some justification for the Russians, attempts at symmetrization, indicating simply that peace is important without focusing on who started the war - that is unfortunately really a very big anti-climax. We are also working with Vatican diplomacy to change that."

The deputy foreign minister went on to say it was extremely important that the Vatican send a message to the faithful in line with the truth about what is happening in Ukraine.

In a general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis prayed with believers for Ukraine at the Vatican. At the end of the meeting in the Paul VI Audience Hall, the pope read a prayer that Archbishop of Naples Mimmo Battaglia had sent to all believers in his archdiocese asking for forgiveness for war.

Also on Wednesday, Pope Francis met with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, who had earlier supported Russia's invasion of Ukraine.