Russians of all political stripes strongly condemned the Pope’s racist remarks. Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, yesterday dismissed the comments as “absurd” and sought to remind him of the tenets of Christianity.
“I would like to remind our Catholic brothers that the Bible says all people have one father: this should put an end to all talk based on xenophobia, racism and nationalism,” she said.
Alexander Avdeev, Russia’s ambassador to the Vatican, also expressed his “indignation” over “the strange remarks attributed to Pope Francis”.
“I’m really sorry that the Pope turned out to be a racist,” Alexandra Garmazhapova, head of the Free Buryatia foundation, told a Russian radio show yesterday.
Garmazhapova added: “If the Pope truly cared about Ukraine, he would use his enormous influence and make a genuine effort to get the whole world to rally around [it].”