ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE: Pope Francis said on Saturday (Apr 2) that he was considering a trip to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
Asked by a reporter on the plane taking him from Rome to Malta if he was considering an invitation made by Ukrainian political and religious authorities, Francis answered: "Yes, it is on the table". He gave no further details.
Francis has been invited by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Ukraine's Byzantine-rite Catholic Church and Ukraine's ambassador to the Vatican, Andriy Yurash.
He has spoken on the phone with Zelenskiy and Shevchuk.
Since the invasion, which Russia calls a "special military operation" to demilitarise Ukraine, the pope has strongly condemned what he has called an "unjustified aggression" and denounced "atrocities."
But he has only referred to Russia directly in prayers, such as during a special global event for peace on Mar 25.