Standing near a mass grave site in eastern Ukraine and seeing the delicate and solemn removal of bodies, Polish Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, papal almoner, said he could only pray.
In a new interview, Pope Francis laid to rest rumors that a papal visit to Kyiv could happen before his visit to Kazakhstan next week, saying he has been forbidden by doctors from traveling before that due to his ongoing knee troubles.
Ukrainian bishops welcomed efforts to restart classes for a new school year and offered church basements as emergency air raid shelters for children.
After a diplomatic rift caused by one of Pope Francis’s off-the-cuff remarks about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Vatican on Tuesday released a statement saying that he unambiguously condemns the “large-scale war in Ukraine initiated by the Russian Federation.”
The “human chain” in Williamsburg Sunday was the latest solidarity collaboration between Annunciation Roman Catholic Church, a Lithuanian parish, and Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church. The relationship began when Russian troops moved into the eastern European nation on Feb. 24.
Marking the six-month anniversary of the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, Pope Francis renewed his appeal for prayers for an end to “the horror of war.”
Pope Francis plans to make his long-awaited visit to Ukraine before his trip to Kazakhstan in September, said Andrii Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See.
The only reasonable way to address the suffering of Ukrainians is to stop fighting and negotiate, Pope Francis said. Even during his busy six-day journey to Canada, “I did not cease praying for the suffering and battered Ukrainian people, asking God to free them from the scourge of war,” the pope said after praying the Angelus with visitors in St. Peter’s Square July 31.
Ukrainians will fight for their statehood to the last and will not stop until they liberate the last meter of Ukrainian land, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address for Ukrainian Statehood Day July 28.
Not only would it be a “disaster” if Pope Francis visits Russia before going to Ukraine, as the pontiff has said he’d like to do, but should that happen, Ukrainian borders actually could be closed to Pope Francis, according to the Latin Archbishop of Lviv.