Ukraine expects Russia to suspend hostilities during any papal trip
Ukraine expects Russia to end hostilities in the eventual papal visit to Kyiv. This was according to the Ukrainian ambassador to Vatican.
After meeting Pope Francis and other top Vatican officials, Ambassador Andriy Yurash spoke for hours to officially present his credentials.
Yurash stated that “We discussed many matters on the agenda right now,” Yurash said during a sideline interview at a diplomatic event held in Rome.
He said, “I provided more arguments why it must be realized as quickly and precisely in these circumstances.”
During a weekend visit to Malta, Francis said to reporters that he was thinking of a trip to Kyiv in order to help with peace efforts. Francis stated that a trip to Kyiv was on the “table.”
Volodymyr Zelenskiy (Ukraine President), Vitaliy Klitschko (Kiev Mayor) and Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Schevchuk (Byzantine-rite Catholic Church of Ukraine) invited Francis to attend.
Yurash stated that Russia would understand that the pope will visit Ukraine and Russia would stop bombing in the central and northern parts.
He stated that he left his Vatican meetings with an inner spiritual desire to make the trip, but no commitment.
Yurash stated that he understood Russia’s pressure on the Vatican to not allow the pope to travel, but did not give any details.
He stated, “It is becoming increasingly understandable for everyone and for the pope that the potential positive response to the challenge to visit Ukraine in terms of helping Ukraine (to end the war) is becoming more important.”
Francis impliedly criticised Russian President Vladimir Putin during his trip to Malta. He said that a “potentate” was creating conflict for nationalist purposes.
While Francis has not mentioned Russia in prayer since the beginning of the invasion, he has used terms like invasion and aggression to refer to Russia.
He condemned the “massacre of Bucha” on Wednesday and kissed the Ukrainian flag from Bucha, where dead bodies were left in the streets. After Russian troops pulled out, bodies were found in a mass grave at a local church.
According to the Kremlin, allegations that Russian forces executed civilians in Bucha are a “monstrous fabrication” meant to denigrate the Russian army.