STORY: "Let not get used to living as if the war were a distant thing", the 85-year-old pontiff told thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for his weekly General Audience. Let our remembrance, our affection, our prayers and our help always go out to this people who are suffering so much and who are carrying out a true martyrdom.”
In the text of a conversation he had last month with editors of Jesuit media and published on Tuesday (June 14), Francis praised "brave" Ukrainians for fighting for survival but also said the situation was not black and white and that the war was "perhaps in some way provoked."
Separately, in a message for the Roman Catholic Church's upcoming World Day of the Poor, Francis lamented that Ukraine had been added to a list of regional wars.
Francis has several times implicitly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin over the invasion but without naming him. He also has used terms such as "unjustified aggression" and "invasion" and has lamented atrocities against civilians.