The Pope telephones Zelensky: “Deep sorrow for his country”

Of Gian Guido Vecchi

The Ukrainian president: «I thanked him for his prayer for peace and a ceasefire». The tweet from the profile of Francis: “The diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with the weapons of God, with prayer and fasting”

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis “had a telephone conversation today with President Volodymyr Zelenskyi”, informs the Ukrainian embassy to the Holy See: “The Holy Father expressed his deepest sorrow for the tragic events that are taking place in our countryAnd”. The Ukrainian president himself wrote on his Twitter profile: «I thanked Pope Francis for his prayer for peace in Ukraine and a ceasefire. The Ukrainian people feel the spiritual support of His Holiness“. Yesterday morning, Francis, against any protocol – as a rule, it is the Pope who receives the diplomats – had gone to the Russian Embassy to the Holy See, in via della Conciliazione, to express his “concern” for the war in Ukraine and to exhort ” to take care of the children, the sick, the suffering, the population ”, as reported by Ambassador Alexander Adveev. A 40-minute meeting to also tell Putin, through the ambassador, that the Vatican is ready at any moment to do its part. On Friday afternoon, Francis had also phoned the archbishop of Kiev, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church: “I will do everything I can,” the Pope guaranteed. In a video message, the archbishop of Kiev Shevchuk pronounced: “Ukraine is alive, Ukraine is fighting, but today we ask the world to be in solidarity with us, and not be silent, because the word saves, the word builds the world . While silence and indifference kill“.

Today, from his Twitter profile, Francis relaunched in Ukrainian and Russian a passage of the appeal for peace pronounced in the general audience of 23 February: “Jesus taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with the weapons of God, with prayer and fasting. The Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war“. On Friday, again on Twitter, he quoted a passage from the Encyclical Brothers All: «Every war leaves our world worse than it found it. War is a failure of politics and humanity, a shameful surrender, a defeat in the face of the forces of evil ». THE tweet on the @Pontifex account are accompanied by hashtag
#PrayTogetheking #Ukraine.

There is no official mediation, but the golden rule of Vatican diplomacy is to always be thereif not to avoid conflict at least to limit the damage as much as possible: “There is still time for goodwill, there is still room for negotiation», Said Cardinal Parolin, the Pope’s Secretary of State. Caritas fears« a humanitarian catastrophe », Andrea Riccardi and Sant’Egidio have launched an appeal to ask to proclaim Kiev an “open city”: will be delivered to Russian President Putin and Ukrainian President Zelensky, through their respective embassies.

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