In new phone call, Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy tells Pope Francis he would welcome Vatican mediation

Hannah Brockhaus   By Hannah Brockhaus for CNA

 

Pope Francis and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. / Quirinale.it/President.gov.ua via Wikimedia.

Rome Newsroom, Mar 22, 2022 / 05:55 am (CNA).

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday that he had spoken to Pope Francis on the phone, telling the pope that he would welcome Vatican mediation to end the suffering in his country.

Writing on Twitter on March 22, Zelenskyy said he told the pope “about the difficult humanitarian situation and the blocking of rescue corridors by Russian troops.”

The Ukrainian president also said that “the mediating role of the Holy See in ending human suffering would be appreciated” and thanked the pope “for the prayers for Ukraine and peace.”

Zelenskyy also referenced his call with Pope Francis during a speech to the Italian parliament on March 22.

Speaking via video link, the Ukrainian president said he had spoken to the pope, who had said “very important words.”

The president said that Pope Francis told him: “I understand that you desire peace. I understand that you must defend yourselves, soldiers and civilians defend their country, each one defends.”

“And I responded,” Zelenskyy recalled, that “our people have become the army, [they became] the army when they saw the evil their enemy does, what devastation it has left.”

Zelenskyy said that in the conflict with Russia, at least 117 children have been killed, thousands wounded, tens of thousands of families destroyed, and millions of homes abandoned.

“And all of this started from one person,” he said.

Andrii Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, also shared the news of the conversation between the pope and the president on Twitter on Tuesday.

Yurash described the phone call, which he said took place on the morning of March 22, as a “new visible gesture of support” for Ukraine.

The conversation was “very promising,” the ambassador commented, adding that Pope Francis said that he was praying and doing everything possible to help end the war.

According to Yurash, Zelenskyy repeated his invitation to Francis to visit Ukraine.

Pope Francis also spoke with Zelenskyy in a telephone call on Feb. 26, two days after Russia’s full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine, launched by President Vladimir Putin.


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7 Comments

  1. The president said that Pope Francis told him: “I understand that you desire peace. I understand that you must defend yourselves, soldiers and civilians defend their country, each one defends.”
    When citizens become combatants they subject themselves to military response [Zelensky ordered every civilian male 16 and older remain and fight handing out Kalashnikovs and homemade grenades to all]. Surprisingly, this statement from Francis stretches beyond his previous sentiments on war and suggests affinity with Zelensky.
    Cardinal Parolin has a better approach proposing a mediated negotiated settlement aiming at a win win. Despite what occurred as a result of his negotiations with Catholicism in China compromise is the workable approach. Neither Ukraine or Russia are above reproach and both have legitimate interests.
    Demonization of one side or the other in a conflict doesn’t never work out well except in extreme circumstances like Adolf. There’s isn’t at this juncture unequivocal evidence that’s the case with Putin. Judge the poor and weak as you would the rich and powerful (God’s admonition to Moses on justice Leviticus 19:15).

    • Francis’ sense of right and wrong regarding any human event is as capricious and sentiment based as a teenager picking a dance partner on prom night, and I can think of no forum to be a less proper setting for an honorable resolution to a one-sided war of aggression than today’s amoral Catholicism deconstructing Vatican.

        • And you might see things in a more constructive way if you would consider what crimes against humanity are accomplished, direct and indirect, when narcissistic neophilia is exercised at the highest levels of influence.

        • Thru his words and actions, Bergoglio disturbs and alienates too many of those with fidelity to Christ and His church. While not all, increasing outcries arise against his papacy. This should not be and yet, is he not the author of this misfortune?

          Many could compile a short list of his missteps, yet we pray for repentance and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, so the Lords will prevails rather than promoting his own aims.

          Honest criticism, helps us grow to become better servants in Christ’s Kingdom.

          Many blessings, let us join our hearts in prayer for the Pope.

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