Pope Francis recently did a radio interview in Spain. That is not the main thing of this story, but it’s already somewhat surprising, as I did not realize the pope did radio interviews. Hi, this is Pope Francis and you’re listening to 97.3 THE BUZZ. The main thing of the story, though, is that he accidentally quoted Putin during it. And who hasn’t been there?
During the interview, Pope Francis was asked how he felt about the West’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Finally, you sigh; we were all waiting for him to break his silence. In response, he said he was moved by a quote from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which he obliged to translate into Spanish, saying: “It is necessary to put an end to the irresponsible policy of intervening from the outside and building democracy in other countries, ignoring the traditions of the people.” He added that he “felt a sense of wisdom” in what Merkel said.
Unfortunately this was not, in fact, a quote from Angela Merkel; it was a quote from Vladimir Putin. Whoops :) ha-ha :) The quote was taken, though, from Putin’s most recent meeting with Merkel, during which Putin criticized the attempt to “build democracy in other countries according to foreign templates.” Merkel said, in response: “I must say that, in our development cooperation efforts, we did not want to force any system on Afghanistan. But we saw that millions of girls were glad to go to school and that women could participate. There are many in Afghanistan who are very, very unhappy about developments now.”
Pope Francis said he thought “all eventualities were not taken into account” in the West’s departure from Afghanistan, and yeah, seems right. He added, “To quote John Lennon, it is not truth that matters, but victory.” Just kidding. But he did ask for Christians to engage in “prayer, penance, and fasting” to help in this “moment of crisis,” and I’m not sure that’s gonna do it but I guess we’ll see.