Departing from protocol, Pope Francis visits the Russian Embassy over Ukraine

Pope Francis went to the Russian embassy to the Holy See on Friday to relay his concern over Russia’s actions in Ukraine to Moscow’s Ambassador, in an unprecedented departure from diplomatic protocol, Reuters reports.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the Pope spent about 30 minutes at the Embassy, which is close to the Vatican.

“He went to express his concern over the war,” Bruni told Reuters. Bruni would not comment on a report that the Pope, 85, had offered the Vatican’s mediation.

It was believed to be the first time a Pope has gone to an Embassy to talk to an Ambassador in a time of conflict. Foreign envoys are usually summoned by the Vatican’s Secretary of State or meet with the Pope in the Apostolic Palace.

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