Vatican City — Pope Francis on Thursday implicitly accused Russia of "armed conquest, expansionism, imperialism" and called the conflict a "cruel and meaningless war of aggression." ..
The Pope, speaking with a delegation of Roman Orthodox leaders, called the conflict a conflict between Christians.
Both Russia and Ukraine are mainly Orthodox Christians, but Ukraine has a significant number of Catholic minorities.
"As a means of contributing to peace among people in conflict, reconciliation between separated Christians is a cruel and meaningless aggression in which many people participate in our world. Christians are fighting each other, which is the most timely consideration these days because of the turmoil of the war, "said the Pope.
The eastern and western branches of Christianity separated in the 1054 schism.
The Pope also made a clear reference to Russia and told Orthodox visitors that "we need to admit that armament." Conquest, expansionism, and imperialism have nothing to do with the kingdom declared by Jesus.
The Pope talked about the conflict in Ukraine for the second consecutive day. On Wednesday he accused the bombing of a crowded shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk, the latest in a series of "barbaric attacks" on Ukraine. (Report by Phil Pullella, edited by Nick Macfie)