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Cardinal Pietro Parolin is concerned about the global ‘will to continue fighting’. (Vatican News)

The shooting of Slovakia’s prime minister and the intensified Russian attacks on northeastern Ukraine are signs of a generalised increase in violence and a lack of a real commitment to dialogue and peace, said the Vatican Secretary of State. Source: OSV News.

However, Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters on Wednesday that the Vatican would be present in Bürgenstock, Switzerland, June 15-16 for an international summit organised to work toward peace in Ukraine.

“The big problem is to find spaces for dialogue, spaces for negotiation, which for the moment we do not see. On the contrary, it seems that the will is to continue fighting,” Cardinal Parolin told reporters on the sidelines of an event at the Italian embassy to the Holy See.

Although the cardinal did not say who would represent the Vatican at the peace summit, he said the Vatican would be there as an observer and, “above all, focused on the humanitarian aspects of this peace plan”.

The cardinal also was asked if Pope Francis’ public appeal on Sunday for a comprehensive prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine had yielded any results.

“There has been an exchange of lists” by Russia and Ukraine, the cardinal said, but “I don’t know if that has been matched by concrete action.”

While the process may be slow, he said, at least “there is this dialogue” regarding prisoner exchanges.

The cardinal met the journalists a few hours after Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot five times by an assailant in the town of Handlova; after emergency surgery, he was in serious but stable condition, the BBC reported yesterday.

“We are really concerned about what is happening; it seems that there are no limits anymore,” the cardinal said. “Really all this leads to increasing violence; relations are becoming more and more violent and there are fewer and fewer hopes of building peaceful relations.”


Vatican to attend international summit on peace in Ukraine (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via OSV News)