Pope Francis receives Ukraine’s new Vatican ambassador

Hannah Brockhaus   By Hannah Brockhaus for CNA


Pope Francis received Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash, on April 7, 2022 / Vatican Media

Vatican City, Apr 7, 2022 / 07:25 am (CNA).

Pope Francis on Thursday received the new Ukrainian ambassador to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash.

Yurash, 53, arrived in Rome in March. He presented his credential letters to Pope Francis at the Vatican on April 7. Their meeting also included the exchanging of gifts.

Ukraine's ambassador to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash, presents Pope Francis with gifts on April 7, 2022. Vatican Media
Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash, presents Pope Francis with gifts on April 7, 2022. Vatican Media

The presentation is done by every diplomat to the Holy See at the beginning of his or her service.

The ambassador wrote on Twitter that it was an “incredible honor and privilege” to present his credentials to Pope Francis. He also said he had an “inspiring and extremely motivating conversation” with Francis and with Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The Holy See, Yurash said, is a sincere partner of Ukraine, “doing everything possible to stop the war.”

Yurash took his post just weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since his arrival, he has participated in Catholic liturgies, spoken about the war, given interviews to media, and held meetings with other diplomats and Vatican officials.

The Ukrainian ambassador was also present in St. Peter’s Basilica for Pope Francis’ consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25.

Yurash’s most recent post, held from 2020-2022, was in the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, where he was head of the division for religions, guarantee of the citizens’ right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

The ambassador, who is married with three children, has a degree in journalism and a doctorate in political science. He worked in the communications office of the National University of Lviv, where he also taught classes in the radio and television department.

From 2014-2020, he was vice director and then director of the department for religions and nationalities in Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture.

Ukraine’s former Vatican ambassador was Tetyana Yizhevska. She held the post since 2007. The Ukrainian Embassy to the Holy See opened in 2000.

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