A top American diplomat has urged Pope Francis to do his bit to prevent World War 3 and take a tougher stance when he meets with with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday evening.
Pope Francis has pleaded on many occasions for peace in the Ukraine and has voiced his concerns that the situation could easily spill over into a World War 3 scenario, if Vladimir Putin is not willing to negotiate the situation.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Russian President Putin told Russian newspaper Corriere della Sera that only a "sick person" would predict WW3.
"There's no need to be afraid of Russia. The world has changed so much that people in their right mind cannot imagine such a large-scale military conflict today. We have other things to do, I can assure you. Only a sick person — and even then only in his sleep — can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack NATO."
Although Pope Francis has often been a very vocal critic of military action, he has been cautious in his criticism of Putin and Russia since the annexation of Crimea.
The Guardian reports that the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett, believes the Pope's first meeting with Putin since 2013 is an ideal opportunity for the Vatican to raise its concerns with the Russian President about the possibility of a World War 3 scenario.
"Maybe this is an opportunity for the Holy Father to privately raise those concerns. Pope Francis has certainly been made aware of the violence in Ukraine and is not unaware of the crisis."
Pope Francis is keen to strengthen ties with the Russian Orthodox church as part of a grander vision to promote Christian unity and, in 2013, the Pope sent Putin a letter urging him and other world leaders to find a non-military solution to the conflict in Syria and prevent another war.
The Guardian contacted the Vatican to ask what Pope Francis and Vladimir Putin were likely to discuss at their meeting on Wednesday, and if World War 3 would be on the agenda. The Vatican responded simply, "You can only speculate on the topics of the discussions."