Pope Francis also dismissed rumours that an operation a year ago, in which part of his colon was removed, was because of cancer.
“It (the operation) was a great success,” he said, adding with a laugh that “they didn’t tell me anything” about the supposed cancer, which he dismissed as “court gossip”.
Plans to travel to Ukraine
During the interview, Francis said he would like to go to Moscow and Kyiv to “try to help in some way” with peace. “And now it is possible, after I come back from Canada, it is possible that I manage to go to Ukraine,” he said.
“The first thing is to go to Russia to try to help in some way, but I would like to go to both capitals.”
Pope Francis has been accused of not going far enough in his criticism of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, though he has condemned the war in Ukraine. Last Thursday he implicitly accused Moscow of waging a “cruel and senseless war of aggression”.
Responding to his comments, a Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday: “It is time to deepen connections with those who sincerely desire it. We renew the invitation to Pope Francis to visit our country and urge you to continue praying for the Ukrainian people.”