Recently the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church released a statement criticizing Pope Francis' comments to Russian Catholic youth on August 25, 2023. In his comments the Pope stated the following:
"You are the heirs of the great Russia. The great Russia of saints. Of kings. The great Russia of Peter the Great, of Catherine the second, of that great enlightened Russian empire. Of great culture and great humanity. Never give up this legacy. You are the heirs of the great mother Russia. Go forward with it."
In this situation we agree with the Pope (and no the Pope IS NOT praising "Russian despotism")! It is perplexing that the Ukrainian Archbishop condemns "extreme nationalism" when it is extreme nationalists and neo-Nazis in Ukraine that are one of the primary groups that caused the tensions that led to this war. Also, he condemns what he calls 'the ideology of the "Russian world" and the entire criminal way of "being Russian."' What is that supposed to mean?! He doesn't clarify this in his statement. On its face it could easily be interpreted as condemning all Russians as such and/or the whole country of Russia and its entire culture regardless of the Archbishop's intentions. Is this the proper attitude of Catholics? Doesn't our Faith embrace all peoples and all nations as the word Catholic (or universal) means? In these times no nation or people should be condemned or hated on account of their ethnic or national background. This includes Russia and Russians! God bless them! 
 Perhaps Pope Francis should follow the example of his predecessor of happy memory Pope Gregory XVI (1831-46) who agreed to assist the Russian government in quelling a revolt by Poles against the Russians who at that time occupied a large part of Poland. It appears that today, perhaps, some of the Ukrainian clergy also need their own Papal slap down.