Ukraine’s Catholic bishops tell pope that his praise for Russia’s imperial past ‘pained’ Ukrainians

ROME (AP) — Ukraine’s Greek Catholic bishops have brought their complaints about the Vatican’s diplomatic neutrality in Russia’s war on their country to the Holy See itself. They told Pope Francis in person on Wednesday that his words praising Russia’s imperial past had pained the Ukrainian people. The 86-year-old pope told Russian Catholic youths on Aug. 25 that they “are the heirs of the great Mother Russia” and he cited Peter the Great and Catherine II as examples. The head of the Greek Catholic church in Ukraine told Francis that the faithful “are sensitive to every word” from the pontiff as “the universal voice of truth and justice.”