"Like the pope, like the papamobile" - the cover of the Polish weekly Wprost with Francis caused a stormy reaction online
On September 3, the Polish weekly WRPOST published the cover of its upcoming issue, which features Pope Francis. This provoked a lively reaction from social media users, especially in light of his recent comments about the Russian Empire.
The main topic of the publication is the scandalous statements of the pontiff about the "great culture" of the times of Peter I and Catherine II;
These words provoked a strong reaction online, as exemplified by the words of Kargul user: "Like the pope, like the papamobile." The Ukrainian audience also did not stand aside: one of the users addressed the pontiff's account directly, advising him to learn more about the fate of the Catholic Church in the Russian Empire.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's reaction was particularly harsh, accusing the Russian leadership of imperialist propaganda justifying military action against Ukraine. The Russian dictator's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, in turn, defended the pope, praising him for his deep understanding of Russian history.
On August 29, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Sviatoslav, responded to Pope Francis' statements about the Russian Empire. He indicated that he expects an official comment from the Vatican on the pontiff's statements.
Later, the representative of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni, explained the position of Pope Francis. According to him, the pope "did not glorify imperialism in his address." Instead, he was trying to encourage young people to "preserve and develop the positive aspects of Russia's cultural and spiritual heritage."
This situation also has political implications: The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry invited a representative of the Vatican to discuss the Pope's statements made in St. Petersburg.