Cardinal Matteo Zuppi arrives at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow Cardinal Matteo Zuppi arrives at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow 

Cardinal Zuppi visits Washington DC as part of peace mission for Ukraine

Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi travels to the US Capitol as Pope Francis’ special envoy to seek a peaceful solution to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

By Devin Watkins

The Holy See Press Office announced Monday that Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi is traveling to Washington, D.C. for a three-day visit as Pope Francis’ special envoy.

The Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference is accompanied by an Official from the Vatican's Secretariat of State.

The visit to the US Capitol takes place on 17-19 July, and comes on the heels of Cardinal Zuppi’s previous visits to Kyiv and Moscow.

‘Promote peace in Ukraine’

Pope Francis appointed the Italian Cardinal as his special envoy in early June, entrusting him with the mission of opening paths of dialogue and seeking peace in war-torn Ukraine.

The Holy See Press Office statement released on Monday said the purpose of Cardinal Zuppi’s visit to Washington is to “promote peace in Ukraine”.

“It seeks to facilitate the exchange of ideas and opinions regarding the current tragic situation, as well as to provide support for humanitarian initiatives aimed at alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable people, particularly children,” read the statement.

Missions to Ukraine and Russia

Cardinal Zuppi visited the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on 5-6 June, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky and several other high-level officials.

The Cardinal then traveled to Moscow on 28-30 June, where he met with Yuri Ushakov, Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation for Foreign Policy Affairs, and with Maria Lvova-Belova, Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation.

In Russia, Cardinal Zuppi met with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, conveyed Pope Francis’ greetings, and discussed humanitarian initiatives that could foster peace in Ukraine.

Peace mission on behalf of most vulernable

Speaking after the visit to Moscow, Cardinal Zuppi said the priority is to work for those who are most disadvantaged.

“The children must be able to return to Ukraine,” he told reporters. “Thus, the next step will be first to check on the children and then to see how to get them back, starting with the most fragile ones.”

Upon returning from his missions to Kyiv and Moscow, Cardinal Zuppi met with Pope Francis to update him on the results of his peace mission in the Pope’s name.

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17 July 2023, 12:26