In his Angelus message last Sunday, Pope Francis prayed that the suffering and battered Ukrainian people might be freed from the scourge of war, adding “The only reasonable thing to do [is] to stop and negotiate.” A former Irish diplomat considers what concrete steps could be taken towards peace
Can there be an opening to what I would call a “rational dialogue” about the war in Ukraine? I realise that many would hesitate to answer, arguing that our first obligation is to distinguish between perpetrator and victim and to align ourselves with the victim. I understand that perspective. However, there are many different actors in a situation like this and many forces in play. A rational dialogue is the opposite of a sundering of all relationships.
I recall Pope Francis, when he addressed the Council of Europe in 2014, saying: “If [conflict] paralyses us, we lose perspective, our horizons shrink, and we grasp only a part of reality. When we fail to move forward in a situation of conflict, we lose our sense of the profound unity of reality, we halt history …”