“We are attached to wars, and this is tragic,” Pope Francis said at a February 18 meeting with members of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.
In a clear reference to the mounting tensions in Ukraine, the Pope spoke of the “threatening winds” blowing across Eastern Europe, “lighting the fuses and fires of weapons and leaving the hearts of the poor an innocent cold.” The Ukrainian Catholic Church is the largest of the Eastern churches in communion with the Holy See.
Pope Francis also spoke of the bloodshed in the Middle East, in Syria and Iraq.
On another topic, the Pope cautioned against liturgical disputes in the Eastern churches. (The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in particular has seen bitter arguments over liturgical differences.) He said: “If we cause scandal with liturgical disputes, we play into the hands of him who is the master of division.”