The Pope quotes PUTIN by mistake as he criticises America and the West for trying to establish democracy in Afghanistan

  • Pope Francis attributed the quote to German Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • However, it was actually spoken by Vladimir Putin during a meeting with Merkel
  • Francis used the quote in a Spanish radio interview aired on Wednesday
  • In it, he criticised the West’s outsider’s approach to attempting to build democracy in Afghanistan following the toppling of the Taliban in 2001 

Pope Francis has inadvertently quoted Vladimir Putin while criticising the West’s recent involvement in Afghanistan as an outsider’s attempt to impose democracy.

During a radio interview aired on Wednesday, the pontiff was asked about the situation in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of U.S. and other NATO forces after almost 20 years of war, and the Taliban recapture of the country.

The pope said he would answer with a quote, which he attributed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he described as ‘one of the world’s greatest political figures’.      

‘It’s necessary to stop the irresponsible policy of enforcing its own values on others and attempts to build democracy in other countries based on outside models without taking into account historic, ethnic and religious issues and fully ignoring other people’s traditions,’ the Pope said, using his own translation into Spanish.

However, the words were not Merkel’s, rather, they were spoken last month by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit by Merkel to Moscow.

Pope Francis (pictured) has inadvertently quoted Vladimir Putin while criticising the West’s recent involvement in Afghanistan as an outsider’s attempt to impose democracy 

Vladimir Putin last month delivered a scathing criticism of the West over Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban’s rapid sweep over the country has shown the futility of Western attempts to enforce its own vision of democracy 

At the August 20 meeting, Putin delivered a scathing criticism of the West over Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban’s rapid sweep over the country has shown the futility of Western attempts to enforce its own vision of democracy.

Merkel, meanwhile, urged Russia to use its contacts with the Taliban to press for Afghan citizens who helped Germany to be allowed to leave Afghanistan.

Francis’ interview with Spain’s Cadena COPE took place at the Vatican late last week. The station, owned by Spain’s Catholic bishops’ conference, said its content had been vetted by the Pope himself.      

Francis also said that ‘all eventualities were not taken into account’ in the departure of Western allies from Afghanistan.

‘I don’t know if there will be any revision [of what happened during the withdrawal], but there was much deceiving from the new authorities [of Afghanistan],’ said the Pope. ‘Either that or just too much ingenuity. Otherwise, I don’t understand.’

Francis called for Christians across the world to engage in ‘prayer, penance and fasting’ in the face of events in Afghanistan.

The Pope said: ‘It’s necessary to stop the irresponsible policy of enforcing its own values on others and attempts to build democracy in other countries based on outside models without taking into account historic, ethnic and religious issues and fully ignoring other people’s traditions’. Pictured: Evacuees crowd the interior of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft carrying some 640 Afghans to Qatar from Kabul

Francis described German Chancellor Angela Merkel as ‘one of the world’s greatest political figures’

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