Cardinal Zuppi, Pope’s Envoy for Peace, speaks about the war in Ukraine

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — “War is a pandemic. It involves all of us,” said Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, the Italian prelate chosen by Pope Francis to lead an initiative for peace in Ukraine.

The cardinal, who is archbishop of Bologna and president of the Italian bishops’ conference, spoke about the need for peace in Ukraine when he delivered the presidential address at the spring meeting of Italian bishops at the Vatican on May 23.

But he did not speak about the fact that Pope Francis chose him to lead a mission “to help ease tensions in the conflict in Ukraine”, as the Vatican press office announced on May 20 without provide more details.

The pope, according to Vatican News, spent three hours listening to and answering questions from the Italian bishops in late May 22. While the session was held behind closed doors, Vatican News reported that the war in Ukraine and the need for peace were among the topics discussed.

The next morning, in a speech addressing many issues of concern for the Italian bishops, Cardinal Zuppi included peace, “one of the concerns that Pope Francis has always presented to us in recent years, recently until the emotion — peace, today particularly in Ukraine with its “tormented people”.

The cardinal called the pope’s prayers and words on the war prophetic because, the cardinal said, his defense of Ukraine is “so rare today when talk of peace seems to avoid taking sides or not acknowledge responsibility”.

“Pope Francis’ voice takes on the deep, sometimes unspoken, often inaudible anxiety of peoples who need peace,” Cardinal Zuppi said, but “war is a pandemic” that does not just involve victims and victims. aggressors. The war in Ukraine is having a huge impact on the rest of Europe and the rest of the world, especially in terms of the lack of grain shipments, oil and gas issues, and global alliances.

During the Pope’s late April visit to Hungary, he asked, “Where are the creative peace efforts? The Cardinal told the Bishops, “Let us be troubled by this matter, lest the ruthless logic of the conflict remain.”

“For us, peace is not just a wish, but it is the very reality of the Church, which sprouts – as a sign of peace – from the Eucharist and the Gospel,” the cardinal said. “The church and Christians believe in peace; we are all called to be peacemakers, even more in the terrible storm of conflict.

Welcoming Ukrainian refugees, he said, “is an act of peace.”

Committing to praying for peace is also an act of peace, he said, calling on Italian Christians “to a fervent and insistent prayer for peace in Ukraine and that ‘all the peoples of the earth may unite and blossom in them and the most desired peace always reigns”, as Saint John XXIII wrote in “Pacem in Terris”.

Read more Crisis in Ukraine

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