Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Pope Francis’ personal emissary tapped to lead the Vatican’s peacemaking efforts between Ukraine and Russia, is this week making a two-day visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Source: NCR Online.
The Vatican made the announcement yesterday, stating that Cardinal Zuppi’s main goal for the June 5 and 6 visit is “to listen to the Ukrainian authorities on the possible ways to achieve a just peace and support humanity’s gestures to ease tensions.” At the time of the announcement, there was no publicly available schedule of Cardinal Zuppi’s plans while in Ukraine.
Cardinal Zuppi, who is the archbishop of Bologna and the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, was appointed by Francis last month to lead a special “mission” to “initiate paths of peace” between the two warring countries.
The Italian cardinal’s closely watched trip comes less than a month after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the Pope at the Vatican.
Since the start of the war, neither Francis nor any of his Vatican foreign aides have been able to speak directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin. While no definitive plans have been announced, it is widely expected that Cardinal Zuppi will also attempt to travel to Moscow on a future occasion as a part of the Vatican’s diplomatic efforts.
While Cardinal Zuppi has not commented extensively on his special peace mission, during a gathering of Italian bishops last month, he backed the Pope’s approach to trying to maintain open lines of communication with both countries.
Cardinal Zuppi heads to Ukraine on behalf of pope in pursuit of ‘just peace’ (By Christopher White, NCR Online)