Pope Francis made a surprise announcement on Sunday while en route home from Hungary, revealing that a secret peace “mission” is currently underway in Russia’s war in Ukraine. The Pope did not disclose any details regarding the mission, but expressed his willingness to do anything to help facilitate peace in the region.
‘There’s a mission that’s not public that’s underway; when it’s public I’ll talk about it’, the pope said.
During the airborne press conference, Pope Francis also mentioned the Vatican’s willingness to help in the return of Ukrainian children who were taken to Russia during the war. He stated, “I’m available to do anything,” and affirmed that the Vatican is ready to aid in any way possible.
Following his meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal appealed to the pontiff for assistance in bringing back Ukrainian children who were forcibly taken to Russia during the conflict.
In a statement to the Foreign Press Association, Shmyhal shared that he requested the Pope’s aid in securing the release and return of detained, arrested, and criminally deported Ukrainian children. The Prime Minister’s appeal reflects the urgent need to reunite these children with their families and provide them with the necessary care and support.
The Pope’s comments come at a time when tensions between Ukraine and Russia have escalated once again, with both sides accusing each other of military aggression. In recent weeks, Ukraine has reported a significant buildup of Russian troops along its border, raising concerns of a potential invasion. The situation has prompted international leaders to call for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
In a tweet on the official page of the Pope on Sunday, he had talked about building peace for the younger generation. The caption in his tweet read: “Queen of Peace, instil in the hearts of peoples and their leaders the desire to build peace and to give the younger generations a future of hope, not war, a future full of cradles not tombs, a world of brothers and sisters, not walls and barricades.
Queen of Peace, instil in the hearts of peoples and their leaders the desire to build peace and to give the younger generations a future of hope, not war, a future full of cradles not tombs, a world of brothers and sisters, not walls and barricades. pic.twitter.com/wpzoNWCCLg
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 30, 2023
The Vatican has a history of involvement in international diplomacy and has played a significant role in facilitating peace negotiations in various regions of the world. Pope Francis has been a vocal advocate for peace and has previously called for an end to the conflict in Ukraine.
The Pope’s announcement of a secret peace mission in Ukraine has generated curiosity and speculation among experts and analysts. The mission may involve diplomatic negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, or humanitarian aid and other forms of assistance.
Regardless of the nature of the mission, the Pope’s willingness to aid in the return of Ukrainian children taken to Russia during the war is a positive development. The conflict has had a devastating impact on the people of Ukraine, particularly children, who have been forced to flee their homes and communities.