Pope Francis promised he would 'do everything possible' to establish peace in Ukraine during a private meeting with the country’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, reports The Tablet.
Mr Yatseniuk was in Rome for the canonisations of John Paul II and John XXIII but had to return early to Kiev because of the deepening crisis in the eastern part of Ukraine.
During their 18-minute meeting the two men discussed the specific role that religious organisations could play in fostering mutual respect and harmony. The Vatican said in a statement: 'Mention was made of possible further initiatives by the international community in this regard.'
Mr Yatseniuk said that he had asked the Pope to pray for his country and for stability in Europe. After meeting the Pope, Yatsenyuk travelled to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic basilica in Rome for a prayer service with the local Ukrainian community.
The church was built by Cardinal Iosif Slipyi, who spent 18 years in Soviet gulags. Meanwhile, representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kievan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) expressed concern over alleged attempts to obstruct the functioning of their churches and parishes in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula invaded by Russian troops.
FULL STORY Pope Francis pledges to 'do everything possible' to help bring peace to Ukraine (The Tablet)