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Pope's envoy meets Ukraine President to discuss next steps for Peace

Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, the pope's envoy to Ukraine, concluded his two-day visit to Kyiv by meeting President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on June 06, 2023.

The Holy See Press Office said, “The results of these talks, such as those with religious representatives, as well as the direct experience of the atrocious suffering of the Ukrainian people as a result of the ongoing war, will be brought to the Holy Father’s attention.”

According to the Bulletin, "This will undoubtedly help assess the humanitarian steps to be taken as well as ways to find just and lasting peace."

Following the Cardinal's visit to Kyiv's St. Sophia Cathedral, a historic Christian center, he met Zelenskyy and other political leaders, and the president was "very cordial" during the meeting, according to Avvenire, an Italian newspaper.

On Telegram, Zelenskyy wrote that he and Zuppi discussed the situation in Ukraine and humanitarian cooperation.

“To bring peace to Ukrainian soil, only joint efforts and diplomatic isolation will be effective,” said the president.

He added, “I ask the Holy See to help implement the Ukrainian peace plan. Ukraine welcomes the willingness of other states and partners to find ways to peace, but since the war is on our territory, the solution for peace can only be Ukrainian.”

According to the Holy See Press Office, the cardinal thanked Ukraine's civil authorities for the meetings, especially the meeting with Ukraine's president.

Zuppi visited Bucha, 16 miles west of Kyiv, on June 4 and offered prayers over the graves of numerous civilians killed by Russian troops in March 2022. And also, mass graves held the bodies of several torture victims.

He met with Dmytro Lubinets, the Ukrainian Parliament human rights commissioner.

The treatment of captives, including civilians and Ukrainian children, in Russian-occupied areas was discussed.

The cardinal met with representatives of the Council of Churches and Religious Organizations on June 04, 2023.

Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna and president of the Italian Bishops' Conference, was appointed papal envoy by Pope Francis to "start paths of peace" between Russia and Ukraine last month.

The cardinal has strong ties to the influential peace-building community Sant’Egidio, a lay Catholic association. Sant’Egidio has participated in peace negotiations in many countries, including Mozambique, South Sudan, Congo, Burundi, and the Central African Republic.


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