Go to home page

Vatican Envoy Makes First Meeting with Ukraine’s President in Kiev

June 7, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—The meeting between Vatican envoy Cardinal Matteo Zuppi and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy might have included more than meets the eye. Zelenskyy’s office wrote that during the meeting, “The Head of State emphasized that the ceasefire and freezing of the conflict would not lead to peace.” Zelenskyy himself wrote in Ukrainian and English on Telegram:

“I met with Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Special Envoy of Pope Francis. We discussed the situation in Ukraine and humanitarian cooperation in the framework of the Ukrainian Peace Formula. Only united efforts, diplomatic isolation and pressure on Russia can influence the aggressor and bring a just peace to the Ukrainian land. I call on the Holy See to contribute to the implementation of the Ukrainian peace plan. Ukraine welcomes the readiness of other states and partners to find ways to peace, but since the war is on our territory, the algorithm for achieving peace can be Ukrainian only.”

On the other side, the Vatican Press Office released a statement saying

“At the conclusion of the mission on the evening of Tuesday, 6 June, a Holy See Press Office statement said “The results of these talks, like those with religious representatives as well as the direct experience of the atrocious suffering of the Ukrainian people as a result of the ongoing war, will be brought to the Holy Father’s attention.”

The mission, the statement continued, “will undoubtedly be useful to assess the next steps to be taken both on a humanitarian level and in the search for paths to a just and lasting peace.”

Is the Vatican peace initiative running into a brick wall? It would be wrong to make a hasty conclusion. Cardinal Zuppi, chairman of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, is an experienced diplomat. He was chief mediator in the negotiations that led to peace in Mozambique in 1992 between the government and the guerrillas. He knows how to deal with thugs. On his mission, he has clearly stated that the objective is to have the two parties talk to each other. To this purpose, what seems to be a humanitarian mission, the issue of Ukrainian children allegedly kidnapped by the Russians, not necessarily accepting Kiev’s views, might be one way to achieve a result.

According to a TASS source in the Vatican, “Zuppi will depart to Moscow after his visit to Kiev within Vatican’s ‘peace mission.’ His schedule has not been officially announced.”

Back to top    Go to home page clear