Pope Francis' Representative Travels to Ukraine for 3 Day Mission in Talks with Civil and Religious Authorities and also Blesses Ukraine
Vatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Gallagher traveled to Ukraine on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 for a 3 day visit. Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher expressed Pope Francis’ love for the people of Ukraine and his commitment to peace, while meeting with government officials and clergy. Latin-rite Metropolitan Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv, and the Ukrainian Ambassador to the Holy See, Andriy Yurash met the archbishop at the border with Poland. Archbishop Gallagher prayed for all the people Ukraine in the chapel of the Archbishop's Residence.
“It’s a pleasure to pray with you and the Catholic people of this city, in the name of the Holy Father, and to offer a blessing upon the city and its population and upon Ukraine, and to pray for peace.”
“I think that my presence here is to reassure people of this,” he said. “The Pope has a universal mission. He has to take into consideration all peoples at all times and seek their good.”
On Thursday, the second day of his visit to Ukraine, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States met with the Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi, and Maksym Kozytsk, the Governor of Lviv Regional State Administration, in the Curia of Lviv Archdiocese. He was joined by Metropolitan Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv, Auxiliary Bishop Eduard Kava, and the Ukrainian Ambassador to the Holy See, Andriy Yurash.
The archbishop participated in a press conference in Kyiv with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kukeba, and reiterates the Holy See’s “willingness to aid a genuine negotiating process, seeing it as the just route to a fair and permanent resolution.”
The visit highlighted the 30 years of diplomatic ties of Ukraine and the Holy See. The Archbishop also noted the exchange of letters and phone calls between Pope Francis and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Pope Francis is trying very hard to defend the Ukrainian people and emphasizes "that they have their freedom and that the integrity of this country has been violated". The Holy See wants to contribute to peace in Ukraine, but respects "the sovereign right of the Ukrainian people and their leaders" to decide through which negotiations and measures this should be achieved.
"On behalf of Pope Francis, I applaud everything you are doing for the refugees and I pray that peace will soon prevail in Ukraine instead of war," he wrote in the cathedral's Book of Honour. Archbishop Gallagher spoke to "Vatican News" of a "trauma that the country is going through". Watching the war on TV is one thing, "touching this reality is another," said the Vatican's foreign policy representative. The Holy See will continue to encourage the dispatch of humanitarian aid while raising awareness among the international community. This is necessary because in the war in Ukraine, as in other ongoing and unresolved conflicts, "signs of fatigue" in supporting a people in need can be observed. "So what we are trying to do and what the Pope has done is many interventions, many moments of prayer and many appeals for an end to the war in Ukraine. We will continue in this direction," the archbishop promised.
Edited from combined Vatican News Reports