Pope Francis told journalist travelling with him on Sunday he hoped God would reward their colleagues who died while covering the war in Ukraine as they were serving the common good.
“I would like to express my condolences for your fallen colleagues, whatever side they were from,” he told journalists on the plane.
“Your job is a job for the common good. They have fallen in service of the common good of information. Let’s not forget that they were courageous. I pray for them, I pray that the Lord rewards their work.”
At least six journalists have now died since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February.
Speaking to journalists aboard the plane returning from Malta, Pope Francis also repeated that he was ready to make a trip to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, but added that things were still “up in the air” and he had to decide if it would be feasible.
On his way to Malta on Saturday Francis said a trip to Kyiv was “on the table”.
During the Malta trip the pope was suffering from a flare-up of leg pain that forced him to use freight lifts to board and disembark planes and he also had to sit for parts of a long Mass on Sunday.
Asked about his health, Pope Francis said it was “capricious”.
The 85-year-old pontiff added that his leg was getting better but that at his age nothing was predictable.
Pope Francis stood for about 20 minutes speaking to journalists while on the plane and did not appear to be in any discomfort. (Source: CNA)