The condemnation of priests having inappropriate relationships with the altar boys and other young boys in their congregation took nearly 60 years from the first public reports of it. During that downtime, the Catholic church turned a blind eye towards it and merely would transfer a ‘problem’ priest to a new location to help him escape the heat and to retrain him. Over the years that has stopped being enough, and now many are facing the charges and other results for their actions.
Much the same, the Vatican took its sweet time to speak out on the Russian attacks in Ukraine. However, this past Sunday at the public blessing at St. Peter’s Square Pope Francis decided to use his throat to speak out and say something. “In the name of God, I ask you, stop this massacre…With pain in my heart, I join my voice to that of the common people, who implore an end to the war. Let there be a real and decisive focus on negotiation and let the humanitarian corridors be effective and safe.”
While not worded in a way many Americans would put it, this is a strong statement from the Vatican. The condemnation by the Pope is one of the strongest urgings to end something in the religious order. Given the widely held Russian belief that they are right in the invasion because they are removing neo-Nazis (despite ZERO evidence of this), they won’t take the condemnation of the Pope seriously.
In the history of the world, the condemnation of a military act of aggression or self-defense has never ended due to the Pope condemning it. While the Vatican speaking up on these issues is always a good thing, it’s not having the effect the Pope would like to see. Many contribute this to the global shunning of religion as a whole, others simply believe the church just doesn’t understand the reasoning behind any attacks.
The condemnation also sends a message of support to Ukrainians. The condemnation of their enemies is in the neighborhood of support and claiming of them as some of God’s chosen people. In turn, this could inspire many of the Ukrainian forces to continue the fight, with the belief that the protection of God’s angels will be watching over them as they fight the good fight.
Over the past few weeks, his holiness has called for prayers and support for the Ukrainians, and especially the refugees fleeing the Russians. His support of the older, sickly, as well as the women and children, is a message often heard and heeded. When his words of support and prayer reach those who believe in the word of God often take comfort in them, and gain the belief that this is their sign from God that everything will be alright.
Since the invasion of Ukraine began the prayers of support, as well as the messages of love and offers of help, have poured in from across the globe. While they are often unable to be effective, the campaign to rent and not use Air BnB locations from individuals in Ukraine has been a large source of income support for the Ukrainian people. With these funds going directly to the renters, they are having a direct impact on their lives. These holy acts have been talked about by Pope Francis from time to time as well.