Pope Francis Praises Russia

Pope Francis praised Russia’s czarist history on August 25 while addressing a Catholic youth group in St. Petersburg.

“You are the children of the great Russia, of the great saints, of the kings, of Peter the Great, of Catherine ii,” the pope said via videoconference. He lauded Russia as a “people of great culture and great humanity.”

Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, returned the praise, thanking the pope for his “balanced approach of the Vatican on the conflict in Ukraine.” She expressed the Kremlin’s appreciation for “the efforts of the holy see, and Pope Francis personally, to seek a peaceful solution, which unfortunately has been rejected by the regime in Kyiv.”

A Ukrainian government spokesman said this was “imperialist propaganda.” The head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, expressed his “great sorrow and concern.”

Religious ambitions: By mentioning the Russian empire under Peter the Great and Catherine ii, the pope is alluding to the glory days of Russian Orthodox Christianity, before it was subjected to persecution following the Bolshevik Revolution. He may be angling for more involvement in the Russian Orthodox Church.

Vatican diplomacy: The Vatican is a major diplomatic power. During the World War ii, the Vatican played a key role as a channel for backroom negotiations. Notable participants included President Franklin Roosevelt’s personal representative, Myron Taylor, British Ambassador Francis D’Arcy Osborn and German Prince Philipp von Hessen. In recent times, the Vatican has offered to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, so far without success.

Church and state: German and Russian diplomacy is following the same path. Germany and Russia have likely come to an understanding regarding their imperial ambitions.

“I have believed for many years that Germany and Russia may have secretly signed a modern-day Hitler-Stalin pact,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in July 2022. “Germany’s reaction to Russia’s attack on Ukraine has exposed the existence of this deal.”

Germany has been criticized for its reluctance to abandon Russian energy and for its minimal and often delayed support of Ukraine’s military. Could the Vatican be one of Germany’s means of maintaining relations with Russia?

The most widely produced religious book in history, the Bible, describes a church that influences and has intimate relationships with “the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:1-2). This describes the Catholic Church during World War ii, and shows what will happen in the near future. Bible prophecy also says this church will grow in power, even regaining authority over the daughter churches that have split from it, including the Orthodox Church (Isaiah 47).

To learn more about how this powerful church-state combine will temporarily cooperate with Russia to bring about the fall of the United States of America, read Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?, by Herbert W. Armstrong.