(FreedomBeacon.com)- In excerpts from an interview that were published last Friday, Pope Francis suggested that the war in Ukraine is driven, not just by the interests of the Russian empire, but also by the interests of several other “empires” as well, Reuters reported.
In the excerpted transcripts from an interview with the Italian Swiss television network RSI, Pope Francis said the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is being fueled by “imperial interests” from “empires” elsewhere and not just from the “Russian empire.”
The excerpts of the transcript from the interview, which aired on Sunday, were released on Friday by Italian newspapers Corriere della Sara, La Repubblica, and La Stampa, according to Reuters.
In the excerpts, the pope also said he was prepared to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for peace in Ukraine.
The 86-year-old pontiff, who celebrated the tenth anniversary of his election on March 13, also told RSI that he would step down as pope if he was no longer capable of governing the Roman Catholic Church.
During his visit to Congo last month, while speaking with fellow Jesuits, Francis said papal resignations should not become a “fashion” as being pope is a lifetime position.
His predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, who died late last year, was the first pontiff in 600 years to resign when he stepped down in 2013.
When asked in his interview with RSI what might lead him to resign, the pope cited “tiredness” that makes it difficult to “see things clearly” and a “lack of clarity” which would prevent him from evaluating situations.
The pope added that he is “a bit ashamed” of having to use a wheelchair because of his knee problems, but added that he is old and has “less physical resistance.”