Pope Francis said Thursday it could be morally acceptable to sell weapons to Ukraine if they were used in self-defense.
“To defend oneself is not only legitimate, it’s also an expression of love for one’s country,” Francis said during an in-flight news conference on the plane returning from Kazakhstan.
Asked by a journalist if it was right to sell weapons to Ukraine, the Pope said, “It’s a political decision. It could be morally acceptable if done morally.”
“It is immoral if it’s done with the intention of provoking more war, or to sell weapons, or to get rid of weapons that are no longer needed,” Francis said.
“Morality is defined by motivation,” the Pope said.
In answer to a question about Russian aggression in Ukraine, the Pope said that dialogue is important, “even if you have to hold your nose.”
“I don’t exclude dialogue with any power that is at war,” the Pope said, “even if it is the aggressor.”
“It may smell but one has to do it,” Francis said.