(CNS photo/episkopat.pl)

March 9, 2022

Pope Francis’ envoy to Ukraine, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, meets with leaders of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and of the Latin Church in Ukraine, as he begins his mission to the war-torn nation.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner, began his mission as Pope Francis’ envoy to Ukraine on Tuesday.

He met in Lviv with Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC); and with the Latin Metropolitan of Lviv, Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki.

Phone call with the Pope

The three Catholic leaders spoke by phone with Pope Francis, updating the Holy Father on the situation in Ukraine, according to a statement from the Secretariat of the Major Archbishop.

During the phone conversation, Cardinal Krajewski shared his first impressions from the mission, detailing his experience entering into the country from Poland.

The Holy Father was also updated on plans for the Cardinal’s visit, which is open-ended. Wednesday’s statement indicated that Pope Francis has instructed Cardinal Krajewski “to remain in Ukraine as long as necessary to provide support to the Ukrainian people on behalf of the Apostolic See in these dramatic moments of its history.”

“Pope Francis wants to be present in person through his envoy. This is the purpose of his visit.” – Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk

Visiting aid centers

On Thursday, Cardinal Krajewski is set to visit social assistance centres run by the UGCC in Lviv, and later take part in a joint prayer with representatives of the Pan-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations.

Pope Francis sent both Cardinal Krajewski, who heads the Pope’s charitable office, and Cardinal Michael Czerny, the acting prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, to the region earlier this week as his personal envoys.

He sent them as representatives “not only the presence of the Pope,” but also symbolizing “the presence of all Christians” who want to be close to the people and the situation, who say, in the words of Pope Francis, “War is madness! Stop, please! Look at this cruelty!”

“The Holy See is ready to do everything, to put itself at the service of this peace.” – Pope Francis

By Christopher Wells

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