Pope Francis Getting Ready To Visit Kyiv

The possibility of a major escalation of the Holy See’s diplomatic and spiritual efforts to bring a stop to the conflict in Ukraine since Russia invaded the nation on Feb. 24 was raised on Saturday when Pope Francis indicated a papal visit to Kyiv is “on the table.”
Since the violence began, the Pope has called out for peace in Ukraine in both general audiences and Angelus speeches. The pope was asked on the papal flight to Malta if he was considering accepting an invitation from Kyiv authorities to visit the besieged Ukrainian capital, a trip that the apostolic nuncio in Ukraine has said is logistically possible but unlikely given the dangers associated with any public gatherings in the country.

“Yes, it’s on the table,” Pope Francis responded, according to NBC News correspondent, Claudio Lavanga.

Saturday morning, Pope Francis met with a group of Ukrainian war refugees before travelling to the airport for his first papal flight of 2022, to Malta.

The group of 15 refugees included mothers and children who sought sanctuary in Italy following Russia’s invasion of their country on a large scale.

A mother with two children, ages five and seven, was among the refugees. According to the Vatican on April 2, she came to Italy for her daughter’s heart surgery.

The pope, together with the papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who has acted as a papal envoy to Ukraine, greeted the party in the Casa Santa Marta, his house in Vatican City.

The pope continued to condemn the violence in Ukraine in his speech to civil authorities in Malta on Saturday, calling for “human moderation before the infantile and destructive aggression that threatens us, before the risk of an enlarged Cold War that can suffocate the life of entire peoples and generations.”

“Unfortunately, this childishness has not vanished. The seductions of authoritarianism, new forms of imperialism, pervasive aggressiveness, and the unwillingness to establish bridges and start from the poorest in our midst have all resurfaced,” he remarked.

“Once again, some powerful figure, hopelessly caught up in archaic claims of nationalist interests, is inciting and fomenting strife, while ordinary people understand the need to establish a future that is either shared or not at all.”

“Let us not let the dream of peace to evaporate now, in the night of the battle that has descended upon humanity.”

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