Emmanuel Macron: Ukraine, end of life… What he said to Pope Francis

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On Monday, October 24, 2022, Emmanuel Macron again visited Pope Francis at the Vatican. This is the third time they have met since he became President of the Republic. With the burning news of recent months, the two men were able to exchange their point of view on various crucial subjects.

Since the end of February, the war in Ukraine has been at the center of attention in the Western world and at the heart of the concerns of many. On this subject, the Head of State affirmed that a “religious dialogue” was necessary and that the Catholic Church could thus play a “role” in this affair, as he specified in an interview granted to Point à l outcome of his interview with the pope.

Emmanuel Macron thus confided that he had directly encouraged the sovereign pontiff to move forward in the diplomatic field. “I encouraged Pope Francis to call Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, but also Joe Biden” with the aim of “fostering the peace process”, he told our colleagues.

“We need the United States to sit down around the table to promote the peace process in Ukraine”, continued the President of the Republic. “However, Joe Biden has a real relationship of trust with the pope. The pope can have an influence on him for American re-engagement in Haiti and Ukraine,” he said.

Since the outbreak of the Russian invasion, the pope has not ceased to condemn the conflict but he has also tried to maintain a diplomatic dialogue with Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church, aligned with the positions of the Kremlin, reports Le Figaro.

On another subject, Emmanuel Macron and Pope Francis had more difficulty in agreeing.

As reported by the Vatican, the meeting between the French president and Pope Francis lasted 55 minutes. During this period of time, the two men thus took the time to address the subject of the end of life, dear to the eyes of Emmanuel Macron.

Indeed, the Head of State would consider making the end of life the major societal reform of his second five-year term. “On the subject of the end of life, I spoke to the pope about it on the initiative, telling him that I did not like the word ‘euthanasia'”, he explained to our colleagues, considering that ” death is a moment of life, not a technical act”.

But the pope had already expressed himself in the past on this theme and his opinion differs from that of Emmanuel Macron.

On Friday, October 21, Pope Francis spoke out against euthanasia in front of French elected officials. Conversely, he called for “accompanying life until its natural end”. For the Vatican, euthanasia is indeed considered a “crime against human life” and assisted suicide is a “grave sin”, preventing those who decide to resort to it from receiving the sacraments, recalls Le Figaro.

In France, the end of life is however more than ever on the political scene since the government is organizing a citizens’ convention which will bring together 150 French men and women drawn by lot.