Cardinal Zuppi Heads to Washington to Promote Peace in Ukraine and Help Children’s Repatriation

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Photo: Screenshot from Twitter - PriapusIQ

Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, who has been appointed by Pope Francis to aid in the pursuit of peace in Ukraine, is on his way to Washington to meet with U.S. officials following his talks in Kyiv and Moscow, according to the Vatican. 

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The cardinal’s visit is expected to last for three days, although specific details regarding his meetings were not disclosed.

The primary objective of Cardinal Zuppi’s visit is to promote peace in Ukraine while also offering support for humanitarian endeavors aimed at alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable individuals, particularly children. The Vatican’s statement emphasized the importance of assisting those who have been severely affected by the ongoing conflict.

Last month, Cardinal Zuppi embarked on a trip to Moscow, where he held discussions with Patriarch Kirill, the leader of Russia’s influential Orthodox Church. He also met with Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s Children’s Commissioner. These meetings were intended to foster dialogue and understanding between religious and political figures in an effort to facilitate peace in Ukraine.

Prior to his visit to Moscow, Cardinal Zuppi visited Kyiv in June, where he had a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. President Zelenskiy, who previously met with Pope Francis in May, has urged the Vatican to support his comprehensive peace plan for Ukraine. The plan involves measures such as restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, and the cessation of hostilities, with the ultimate goal of reestablishing Ukraine’s state borders.

The Vatican’s statement highlighted the reference to humanitarian initiatives and children, which appears to be related to Kyiv’s request for assistance in the repatriation of Ukrainian children. Since February 2022, nearly 19,500 children have allegedly been taken to Russia or Russian-occupied Crimea, a situation that Ukraine denounces as unlawful deportations. In response to this issue, the Vatican has expressed its willingness to contribute to the repatriation efforts.

Cardinal Zuppi recently announced that he is actively working on developing a mechanism that would ensure the safe return of the children. This initiative underscores the Vatican’s commitment to addressing the plight of these displaced children and underscores the importance of protecting their well-being.

As Cardinal Zuppi heads to Washington for his meetings with U.S. officials, there is anticipation that these discussions will further contribute to the efforts to establish lasting peace in Ukraine.

With the Vatican’s support and continued diplomatic engagement, the hope is that all parties involved will work towards a resolution that brings an end to the conflict, fosters reconciliation, and ensures a brighter future for the people of Ukraine.

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