Pope just wanted to be neutral on Ukraine conflict

Pope Francis claimed that NATO "barking" at Russia’s frontier may be responsible for the ongoing war in Ukraine.

This will have led to rage from many, who believe that the only acceptable position on Ukraine is a one-sided condemnation of Russia.

Pope doesn't respect Western foreign policy

Interestingly, the Pope had previously seemed to align with NATO and Ukraine by kissing a Ukrainian flag. In reality, he was just trying to encourage peace, not giving his blessing to Ukraine's savage interethnic conflict of 2014 to present, to which Russia merely introduced itself as an apparently unwelcome belligerent in 2022.

While it may seem obvious that the Catholic Church is a Western organisation with commitments to a Western-led international order, shared by the supporters of NATO, this is not true. Pope Francis is not the Pope of white people, liberals or Westerners, but of the people in the slums of Argentina, whose views he is more likely to be receptive to.

Vatican staying above the fray

The Pope was trying to be neutral and not be seen as a participant in the conflict, as taking a side could undermine his international standing. We should bear in mind that the majority of practicing Catholics reside in the Southern Hemisphere, in developing countries, outside the exclusive zone of NATO political and military propaganda monopoly. For the Pope to align himself with NATO, against the better judgment of many Catholics, would be potentially damaging to the authority and credibility of the Vatican rather than any help to NATO.

At the same time, the Pope does not want to be seen as allying with Russia, since Russian troop presence in Ukraine is unauthorised by the United Nations. Russia violated the letter of the UN Charter by sending troops into Ukraine, albeit only as seriously as Turkey and the US are violating the Charter in Syria and hardly warranting the disproportionate, Russophobic Western response.

The Pope cannot be seen as an aggressive proponent of one side or the other, in a conflict in which Russia may expand with small territorial acquisitions and NATO is fully loyal to the bloody neoconservative dream of a new American century.

Pope Francis is right

The Pope is correct to accuse NATO of provoking the evil it supposedly wants to deliver us from. NATO is desperate to preserve itself as an organisation, therefore encouraging adversaries to be more aggressive so that people will be scared into believing they need NATO. NATO creates disaster by insensitively ignoring the security concerns of other powers, encroaching on them, declaring them ideological enemies, and declaring any subsequent response to be unprovoked and proof that the target began acting strangely.

NATO is worse than a barking dog. It yearns to create the threats it will shield us from. If neoconservative hawks did not have Russian and Chinese villains to talk about, they would only cook up some other villain. They might restart their so-called war on terror, combing the world again for the next imaginary or fantasy threat we can imagine to be menacing the fragile West.