Pope entrusts Italian cardinal with Ukraine peace mission

Pope Francis has asked Italy’s Cardinal Matteo Zuppi to head a peace mission to try and help end the war in Ukraine, the Vatican has said. 

Cardinal Matteo Zuppi.

Cardinal Matteo Zuppi.PAP/EPA/FABIO FRUSTACI

The Holy See Press Office confirmed the mission on Saturday evening, news outlets reported. 

The Vatican’s spokesman Matteo Bruni told journalists: “”I can confirm that Pope Francis has entrusted Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, with the responsibility of leading a mission… that contributes to an easing of tensions in the Ukraine conflict,” as quoted by the Vatican News website.

Bruni added that Cardinal Zuppi’s mission would be carried out in accordance with the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The Vatican’s spokesman said Pope Francis hoped that the operation “can initiate paths of peace, something never abandoned by the Holy Father,” according to Vatican News. 

“The timing of such a mission, and its modes, are currently being studied,” Bruni also told journalists, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported.

Cardinal Zuppi will try to meet separately with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Vatican diplomatic source, quoted by the Reuters news agency.

Cardinal Zuppi, 67, has strong ties to the Sant’ Egidio Community, a Rome-based peace and justice group which in 1992 brokered a deal that ended the civil war in Mozambique, which had killed about a million people and displaced about four million others, according to Reuters.

Pope Francis first signalled to reporters his intention to launch a peace mission to help end the war in Ukraine when he was returning from a trip to Hungary on April 30, the PAP news agency reported.


Source: PAP, Reuters, Vatican NewsCNA

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