Vatican City, May 13, 2023 / 09:52 am (CNA).
Pope Francis and the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met at the Vatican on Saturday.
The May 13 encounter — their first since Russia initiated a full-scale war in Ukraine over 14 months ago — was around 40 minutes long.
The two met in a small office off of the Paul VI Hall, which is close to Pope Francis’ Vatican residence.
Pope Francis greeted Zelenskyy at the door of the building. The two shook hands and the Ukrainian president placed his hand on his heart and said, in English, “great honor.”
The Holy See Press Office said Francis and Zelenskyy spoke about the humanitarian and political situation in Ukraine amid the conflict.
“The pope assured of his constant prayers, evidenced by his many public appeals and continuous invocations to the Lord for peace since February last year,” the press office said. “The pope particularly stressed the urgent need for ‘gestures of humanity’ toward the most fragile people, the innocent victims of the conflict.”
Zelenskyy’s gifts to Francis were a painting of the Virgin Mary and Child titled “Loss 2022-58,” about the death of children in the conflict, and a collage made of bulletproof plate, wood, and paint from a series called “Protect the Defender.” The collage also features an image of the Virgin Mary.
The Ukrainian president spent in total about one hour at the Vatican.
He also spoke with the Vatican’s foreign minister, Archbishop Richard Gallagher. They conversed in English in the presence of Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash.
On Saturday morning, Zelenskyy met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, and later, with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Meloni and Zelenskyy gave a nearly 30-minute joint press conference in the afternoon before the Ukrainian president proceeded to the Vatican for his meeting with Pope Francis.
“We are betting on Ukraine’s victory,” Meloni said at the press conference. “We will continue to provide support, including military support, so that Ukraine can arrive at the negotiations with a solid position.”
Zelenskyy thanked Meloni for welcoming him to Italy and for giving shelter to Ukrainian citizens during the war.
Meloni said Italy was Zelenskyy’s first stop in a tour of Europe this month.
The Ukrainian president is scheduled to appear live on one of Italy’s state television channels, Rai1, during a special edition of the program “Porta a Porta” on Saturday evening.
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“What kind of victory is it when someone is left defeated? What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy” – Mahatma Gandhi
“What kind of victory is it when someone is left defeated?” The kind of victory that delivers the world from a Nazi Germany and an Imperial Japan, for starters. The world has been a much better place as a result of the Allied victories. Just one more reason not to take the words of a master manipulator like Ghandi too seriously.
The war in Ukraine is a tragedy – no doubt about it. War is hell on earth. I have a difficult time, however, clearly seeing Russia as the only bad actor in this tragedy. During the Cuban missile crisis, our own country nearly initiated a nuclear conflagration to prevent the placement of missiles so close to our border. That said, we now condemn in Russia the same behavior we were only too eager to embrace against Cuba. Clearly, the New World Order is one where old economies based in oil and gas will be made irrelevant even at the expense of lives, no matter the number. Just ask the elites at Davos. Ukraine supposedly has a sizeable Catholic population; yet, Zelensky rose to power behind an agenda embracing abortion-on-demand; legalizing gay marriage and other “woke”/communist elements. While Ukraine has gone full-blown “woke” to appease the masters of the universe at Davos, Russia has returned to the faith. Putin is painted as the worst type of villian by our media who, of course, NEVER push an agenda; especially one favoring communism. Meanwhile, in Russia, Putin is filmed attending church services (appearing rather sincere by the way), giving speeches lauding values rooted in the natural law, condemning abortion, condemning gender bending illusions and the LGBT agenda. He recently passed laws preventing the possibility of gay marriage in Russia. There is no doubt that Russia spread her “errors”, i.e. communism, as Our Lady warned. But, Our Lady also said that, in the end, Russia would be pleasing to God. I fear that Pope Francis outreach to Zel., only further confirms his support of a new world order. When combined with this Abu Dhabi “temple”, his condemnation of all things inherently Catholic, i,e, the Latin Mass and “backwardist” movement, which in reality is the only way forward for the survival of the church, his embrace of the climate agenda, his tossing the Catholic church in China under the bus, his acceptance of the LGBT agenda, etc., etc., etc., . . . we’re either seeing the result of Rome having “lost the faith” or are witnessing Rome in the process of “losing the faith”, just as Our Lady of La Salette prophesized. We’re suffering the chastisement of rebellious men and I cannot help but see Pope Francis as one of those rebellious men we’re suffering.
Amen, Mark–great post. We could also add to the list of Z’s bad actions: his suppression of the Orthodox cave monks of Kiev–who were apparently guilty of praying for Russia.
Striking imagery–a Jewish president suppressing the religious liberty of Christians.
According to Paul VI’s theory of concentric circles of dialogue, the Greek and Russian Orthodox (which term could be in quotes of course) have a lot more in common with us than do the Jews.
Peace of Christ to all
To my knowledge Pope Francis has never denounced the murderous violence that has been inflicted gratuitously n Kiev upon the ethnic peoples living between Kiev and Russia east of Kiev, by an over-zealous faction in Kiev; to which they have been subject now for nine years and which Kiev continues to escalate. Nor has he denounced the vitriolic hatred expressed by the Kiev aggressors that they spread abroad for money.
Nor has Pope Francis denounced the international supporters that have been backing and arming said war-mongering Kiev elements.
All along Patriarch Bartholomew has pushed the violence but Pope Francis shows no sign of separating himself from this side of Bartholomew’s psychological make-up and identity; nor of correcting him. Bartholomew has suppressed his plans in this area and kept it from being a public affair. Pope Francis seems to be abetting him in this.
I commend to all reading this article the interview that Archbishop Vigano gave recently on Russian TV:
I would also add this:
“We are betting on Ukraine’s victory,” Meloni said at the press conference.
War is a sport for the elites.