Pope Francis meets Ukrainian ambassador on possible trip to Kyiv

ROME — Pope Francis met with Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, Andrei Yulash, Saturday morning to discuss a possible visit to Kyiv.

The Vatican did not provide further detail But the diplomat said the visit could take place ahead of the Pope’s September 13-15 visit to Kazakhstan.

Ukraine, which has been waiting for the Pope for years, especially since the war began, “will be happy to welcome him before his visit to Kazakhstan,” Jurash wrote on Twitter.

According to Yulash, the Pope said: “I am very close to Ukraine and I want to express that intimacy as if I were visiting Ukraine.”

Recently, Vatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Say The Pope will meet the Ukrainian ambassador in early August to discuss the visit.

“Maybe a visit later in August or September or October. It will be up to the Pope, and I would also like to have a better understanding of the situation,” Gallagher said in late July.

According to Gallagher, the visit will depart from Poland or Romania by train. Francis has repeatedly reiterated his desire to go to Ukraine, but also said he first wants to travel to Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin.

Latin Archbishop of Lviv, Ukraine, SayHowever, a visit by Pope Francis to Russia before his trip to Ukraine would be a “disaster” and if that happens, Ukraine’s borders may even be closed to the Pope.

“It’s not just Greek Catholics, we don’t agree with all the Pope’s gestures towards Russia; but maybe we don’t quite understand his intentions and policies,” said Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki, who leads Ukraine’s Latin ceremonial community of about 150. Ten thousand.

“Let’s hope that the Pope, with good intentions and the way he acts, will soon bring peace to Ukraine,” Mokzhiki said.

in a july interview with the Jesuits U.S. In the magazine, Archbishop Gallagher said the pope “wanted and he felt he should go to Ukraine”.

“I think the Pope’s main priority at this time is to visit Ukraine, to meet the Ukrainian authorities, to meet the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian Catholic Church,” he said.

On Friday, amid rumours that Kirill and Francis may meet in Kazakhstan in September, Francis met Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, the representative of Patriarch Kirill, Russia. The head of the Orthodox Church and a close ally of Vladimir Putin.

The two leaders are expected to attend the Seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, scheduled for September 13-15 in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan.

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