The popular Polish socio-political weekly Wprost put on the cover of its new issue a cartoon showing the “popemobile” of the head of the Catholic Church Francisco placed on the chassis of a Russian armored personnel carrier with Z-symbols.
Despite the fact that Poland remains one of the countries for which the Catholic Church is one of the most important foundations of national culture, Pope Francis’ statements about Russia’s war against Ukraine gave rise to not entirely respectful caricatures in the Polish press.
On the cover of the new issues of Wprost magazine (since 2019 it has been released only in digital format) depicts Francis in the “popemobile” on the chassis of a Russian armored personnel carrier and with Z-symbols.
On August 25, Francis, in a speech to participants in the X All-Russian Day of Catholic Youth in St. Petersburg, called on “never to forget the legacy” of the great Russia of Peter I and Catherine II, “great, enlightened, [страны] great culture and great humanity.” This created the impression that the pope supported Russian imperial narratives.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Pope spoke of “imperialist propaganda” with which the Russian Federation justifies its aggression against Ukraine.
The Vatican hastened to clarify that the pope did not exalt Putin’s imperialism, but wanted to “encourage young people to preserve and develop what is positive in the great Russian cultural and spiritual heritage.”
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