Very positive meeting between the cardinal Matthew Maria Zuppisent by Pope francesco a Kievand the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. The long “working” interview, which took place “in a very good atmosphere”, as explained by the apostolic nuncio in Ukrainethe archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokaspresent at the meeting, effectively concluded the two-day mission, on 5 and 6 June, of the cardinal to Kiev. “The Ukrainian peace formula and the achievement of a just peace were the focus of the communication,” the Ukrainian ambassador told the Holy See, Andrii Yurash. Il diplomaticalso highlighted that the beginning of the mission of Soups was “good” and with “fruitful encounters”, adding that “the Ukraine welcomes the interest of Vatican for the bloody war, started by the Russia, and intentions to deeply understand reality. A tight knowledge of the consequences of guerra it will surely help the cardinal find appropriate answers in the name of a just peace”.
That of the president of the Italian Episcopal Conference and Archbishop of Bolognaas specified in Vaticanis, for the time being, “one initiative whose main purpose is to listen in depth to the authority Ukrainians about the possible ways to achieve a just peace and support gestures of humanity that contribute to easing tensions”. Soups will only refer to Bergoglio and together they will evaluate the steps to be taken in the coming weeks, also in the hope that the cardinal will be able to go to very soon Mosca. At the moment, since Kremlin, rule out a short-term meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, but the scenario is rapidly evolving. In the sacred palaces, in fact, they underline that the Papa asked the cardinalwell known for its ability to mediation and with pastoral sensibilities very similar to his own, to listen to the requests of the leader Ukrainiansabove all following the developments of the last few weeks, following the meeting that took place in Vaticanon May 13, 2023, between Francesco e Zelensky.
The choice of Soups was taken from Pontiff in total lonelinesswithout anyone suggesting this name to him and also the purpose of the mission was decided solely by Bergoglio. It is evident that Francesco he is very interested not only in the development of the political situation, as well as humanitarianin Ukrainebut also to evaluate all possible signs of dialogue between the two Countries at war. A dialogue that goes far beyond the exchange of prisoners and the return home of the children Ukrainians deported to Russia. Operations both requested to the Papa and to Holy See and where Vatican mediation has, in both cases, achieved very positive objectives. Francescoin fact, is interested in evaluating whether a step furtherthus favoring the conditions for rapid, effective and conflict resolution mediation. A attempt fielded with determination and quickly from Bergoglio precisely following the clear closure to mediate with the Russiaboth through the Vatican than through other third countries in the conflict, expressed very clearly and harshly by Zelensky in face to face with Francesco.
A Kiev the cardinal Soups also met with the commissioner for human rights of Parliament Ukrainian, Dmytro Lubinets. The main theme was the homecoming of the children and gods prisoners civilians deported to Russia. “I am convinced – he said Lubinets – that this visit of the Vatican representatives in Ukraine will demonstrate once again who is the aggressor and who is the victim. After all, we are fighting on our land, for our people, for territorial integrity and we will definitely win!”. Positive conversation also for the cardinal: “I am very grateful for the meeting, because it helped a lot to understand the pain of the weakest children. We will do everything possible and impossible to solve this problem”. Zelensky he then specified that, according to the data held by the government, they are 485 Ukrainian children dead since the beginning of the war: “This is a number that we can officially confirm, knowing the data of each child. Unfortunately, their real number is higher. Every time we free ours terra from the Russian occupiers, we learn the terrible truth about the occupation”. The president he also expressed his own strong concern for the total lack of information complete on the hundreds of thousands of children deported in Russia: “To date, thanks to various efforts, it has been possible to report 371 children from deportation to Ukraine. Although we know for sure that at least 19,505 Ukrainian children are deported and this is only a fraction of all our little Ukrainian men and women who are still with the enemy.”
Soups began its journey at loofah, in the region of Kiev, paying tribute to the victims buried in the mass grave. The head of the regional state administration of Kiev, Ruslan Kravchenkowhich accompanied the cardinalhe said that the cardinal was able to see with his own eyes “What a very high price they pay the Ukrainians for freedom and peace in the world“. In particular, the Vatican delegation visited the St Andrew’s Church, the place where 119 civilians were buried during the Russian occupation. “Such stories are a pain for the entire civilized world,” he stressed Kravchenkoadding that “Ukrainians, like no one else, want such terrible crimes against humanity never to happen again”. Soups he then visited the photographic exhibition which recounts the atrocities committed by the Russians during the days of occupation of the city, in particular with instruments of torture. The cardinal assured those present that he will tell the Papa everything he saw. Francesco himself recently underlined it, recalling how in the war in Ukraine, as in many other conflicts, there is, unfortunately, a “pleasure in torturing”: “We are seeing it in the war, in war footage, the pleasure… And so many soldiers who work there torturing Ukrainian soldiers. I have seen i video clips. And this sometimes happens with i Boys”. Bergoglio, moreover, he reaffirmed that this “is a story as old as humanity: with peace one always gains, perhaps bit but you gain, with war you lose everything. All! And the so-called earnings I am losses”.