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.
Pope Francis said he plans to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in September at an interreligious meeting in Kazakhstan.
Prevented by war from meeting in Kyiv, 40 Ukrainian Catholic bishops from around the world met in Poland, less than 10 miles from the border with their homeland, in early July.
Some in the troubled African nation hoped Pope Francis’ visit would foster “reconciliation and peace.” But because of his ailing knee, the Pope Francis will send the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to Africa in his place.
A prominent Ukrainian academic, who recently met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, said the pontiff has tasked a handful of cardinals to study the topic of “just war” in light of the current conflict with Russia.
While many people have apps on their phones like WhatsApp, DoorDash, or Uber, Antonina Horzov has one called Alarm — which alerts her whenever air raid sirens sound in Irshava, her native city in Ukraine.