The World

Pope Francis shows closeness to Ukraine by sending two cardinals to the border

The Holy See Press Office has confirmed the dispatch of Cardinal Krajewski and Cardinal Czerny to various points on the Ukrainian border to bring aid to those in need and to show the Pope's closeness to the Ukrainian people.

David Fernández Alonso-March 7, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes
pope ukraine

Photo: People hold the Ukrainian flag in St. Peter's Square during the Pope's Angelus on March 6, 2022. ©2022 CNS

The Pope announced it at the Angelus on Sunday, March 6 in St. Peter's Square: he has sent two cardinals as an expression of the Church's solidarity with the suffering Ukrainian people: Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, Apostolic Almsgiver, and Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Prefecture of the Church of Ukraine. ad interim of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development. The Holy See has clearly placed itself at the service of the establishment of peace in Ukraine.

Cardinal Krajewski arrives at the Polish-Ukrainian border on Monday, March 7, the Holy See Press Office said, and Cardinal Czerny will arrive in Hungary on Tuesday, March 8, to visit some reception centers for refugees coming from Ukraine. Both are on their way to Ukraine and depending on the situation will arrive in the country in the next few days.

Presence of the Christian people

The cardinals will be "the presence not only of the Pope, but of all the Christian people who want to come forward and say: 'War is madness! Please stop! Look at this cruelty! Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine. This is not just a military operation, but war, which sows death, destruction and misery." In addition, they will bring aid to the needy.

At the same Angelus, Pope Francis affirmed that "the number of victims is increasing, as are the people fleeing, especially mothers and children. In that tormented country, the need for humanitarian aid is growing dramatically by the hour. I urgently appeal for humanitarian corridors to be truly secured and for aid access to besieged areas to be guaranteed and facilitated in order to provide vital relief to our brothers and sisters oppressed by bombs and fear. I thank all those who welcome the fugitives. Above all, I implore that armed attacks cease, that negotiations prevail - and common sense prevail - and that international law be respected once again."

Similar situations

Pope Francis also wanted to draw attention to the many similar situations around the world. As the Pontiff had already recalled the previous Sunday: "With my heart torn by all that is happening in Ukraine - and let us not forget the war in other parts of the world, such as Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia... - I repeat: let the weapons be silenced! God is with the peacemakers, not with those who use violence".

The Holy See states that Cardinal Czerny will continue to point out the sad similarity between the sufferings of Ukrainians and long-standing conflicts that no longer attract the world's attention. In addition, he will raise his concern that African and Asian residents in Ukraine, who also suffer fear and displacement, be allowed to seek refuge without discrimination. There are also worrying reports of increased human smuggling activities and smuggling of migrants across borders and into neighboring countries. Since the majority of those fleeing are believers, he will affirm that religious assistance must be offered to all, with sensitivity to ecumenical and interfaith differences. Finally, in the laudable efforts to provide humanitarian responses and organize humanitarian corridors, there is a great need for coordination, good organization and shared strategy, to embrace the suffering of the people and provide effective aid.

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