According to the Catholic website Il Sismografo, Pope Francis aims to dispatch personal peace envoys to the presidents of Ukraine and Russia in order to negotiate a ceasefire. The website mentions that the pope cryptically spoke of this “mission” while coming back from Hungary last month. The proposed plan involves Cardinal Matteo Zuppi of Bologna traveling to Kyiv for discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, while the head of the Vatican’s department for Eastern Churches, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, would visit Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin. It has been reported that both the presidents of Ukraine and Russia have agreed to the proposal of meeting papal envoys.
Premier Christian News reports:
Pope Francis hopes to send personal peace envoys to the Ukrainian and Russian presidents to try to broker a ceasefire in the war, a Catholic website reported on Thursday.
Il Sismografo, which specialises in Vatican news and has a good track record, said this is the “mission” Francis spoke of cryptically when he was returning from Hungary last month.
According to the website, the plan would be for Cardinal Matteo Zuppi of Bologna to go to Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and for Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the head of the Vatican’s department for Eastern Churches, to go to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin.
It said both presidents had agreed to meet with the papal envoys, without citing sources or giving details.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said he had no comment on the report but pointed a reporter to recent comments by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin that “now is the moment to take the initiative to create a just peace in Ukraine”.
Zuppi and Gugerotti could not be reached for comment and a key diplomatic source said nothing was yet “concrete”.
If the envoys are sent, it would be identical to a gesture by the late Pope John Paul II, who in 2003 sent high-level representatives to Washington and Baghdad in an unsuccessful attempt to thwart the start of the Iraq War.
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