A refugee being given assistance in Poland A refugee being given assistance in Poland  (ANSA)

Cardinal Krajewski in Ukraine to bring Pope's closeness to those who suffer

The Papal Almoner departs for Poland on Sunday afternoon and then travels to Ukraine to carry out a mission to support the Ukrainian people and volunteers helping refugees, saying: "I don't know how far I will be able to go, but I will try to show anyone I meet the closeness and encouragement of the Holy Father. I am not afraid; I think of the Gospel."

By Salvatore Cernuzio

His itinerary is uncertain, but the objective is clear: "To reach the people who are suffering and bring them the Pope's closeness, to tell them that he loves them, and to pray with them because prayer can also stop the war."

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner who recently went to the Roman Basilica of Santa Sofia on 3 March to bring aid packages to the Ukrainian community, is one of two Cardinals the Pope is sending to Ukraine to give material and spiritual support to the population that has been living under bombs and terror for eleven days.

Cardinal Michael Czerny, interim prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, will also be leaving with Cardinal Krajewski.

It is a real mission that, as the Pope said at the Angelus, seeks to show that "the Holy See is willing to do everything, to put itself at the service of this peace."

Above all, said the Pope, the "presence of the two cardinals there is the presence not only of the Pope, but of all Christian people who want to get closer and say: 'War is madness! Stop, please! Look at this cruelty!'".

Cardinal Krajewski spoke to Vatican News about his mission to Ukraine, the full transcript of which is below:

Q: Your Eminence, in a few hours you will be on a mission to represent the Pope in wounded Ukraine. What are your feelings as you leave?

The Holy Father uses the logic of the Gospel and becomes close to those who are sick, who have been killed, who are displaced from their country. I'm leaving soon and I'm going to Poland, because from Poland I'm sure I'll be able to enter Ukraine.

Then we'll see how far we can go to reach these people and show them the Pope's closeness, to say that he loves them, that he prays for them, that he wants to encourage them. I am also leaving to deliver the Holy Father's Rosaries because with prayer we can move mountains and also stop the war.

Q: To whom will you mainly deliver the aid?

I don't know... There is a state of war, so I don't know who I will be able to reach. As we are seeing from one hour to the next, everything changes, everything moves.

Certainly, I will try to meet as many people as possible to bring the Holy Father's blessing. And I also want to be close to the volunteers, to those who help the refugees at the border. Already 800,000 have entered Poland. 

Q: Will you go from Poland to Kyiv?

When I am at the border, we will see what possibilities there are. We know that the mayor of Kyiv has asked all the religious if they can come and be with them to pray and defend the city through prayer.

Q: A personal question: are you afraid?

No. As I said, I think of the Gospel. I want to use, like the Pope, the logic of the Gospel.

06 March 2022, 15:21