United States

Cardinal Zuppi, the Pope's envoy, talks with Joe Biden on the war in Ukraine

July 19 was the second day of Cardinal Matteo Zuppi's visit to the White House. The cardinal has taken special interest in the repatriation of Ukrainian children illegally deported by Russia.

Gonzalo Meza-July 19, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes

President Joe Biden ©OSV News photo/Jim Watson

On his second day of a visit to Washington D.C. on a peace mission, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi met on the morning of July 18 with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House. Cardinal Zuppi had previously visited the U.S. Congress to meet with members of the Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Also present at the meeting were the Apostolic Nuncio to the US, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, US Ambassador to the Vatican Joe Donnelly and an official of the Vatican Secretariat of State. In his conversation with the congressmen, Cardinal Zuppi explained that Pope Francis seeks to help resolve the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, but especially to find ways to repatriate to that country the thousands of Ukrainian children illegally deported by Russia.

In his address, Cardinal Zuppi also emphasized that his visit to Washington is part of a peace mission entrusted to him directly by Pope Francis, which has taken him to visit Ukraine and Russia. One of the Congressmen, Steven Cohen, representative of Tennessee and ranking member of this Committee, said that Cardinal Zuppi "was frank in his assessment of the reception that Russia has given to the efforts [of the Pope and the Holy See]. In that sense, he explained the difficulties it faces in fulfilling its mission of peace. I expressed to the Cardinal my best wishes and best success," Cohen concluded.

At the end of his visit to Congress, Cardinal Zuppi went to the White House for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden. At the meeting "the President expressed to the Cardinal his best wishes for the continuity of Pope Francis' Petrine ministry and his global leadership," the White House said in a statement.

The text also states that the U.S. president expressed to Bishop Zuppi his pleasure at the appointment as new cardinal of the U.S.-born prelate Robert F. Prevost, Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops. Biden and Zuppi also discussed the Holy See's efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine and the Vatican's push to repatriate to Ukraine the thousands of children illegally deported by Russian forces. Cardinal Matteo Zuppi concludes his three-day visit and peace mission to Washington D.C. on July 19.  

The authorGonzalo Meza

Ciudad Juarez

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