Cardinal Czerny in Slovakia bringing Pope’s closeness to fleeing Ukrainians
By Vatican News staff writer
Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, Pope Francis' special envoy for refugees from Ukraine arrived in Slovakia on Wednesday, 16 March.
In the city of Košice, he met with the Greek Catholic and Latin-rite Bishops of dioceses in the eastern part of Slovakia.
Accompanied by Archbishop Cyril Vasiľ, S.J., Eparch of Košice, the Cardinal also visited the Slovak-Ukrainian border at Vyšné Nemecké, where there are reception facilities for people fleeing Ukraine and moving on to other places.
The Cardinal also visited the Ukrainian city of Uzhhorod, where he participated in a prayer service for peace in Ukraine at the city's Cathedral.
The Pope’s closeness
At the border in Vyšné Nemecké, Cardinal Czerny expressed the Holy Father’s closeness to the people fleeing Ukraine, reiterating the Pope’s words that the border should be “a place of encounter and not of division.”
The Cardinal also expressed appreciation for the efforts of all those who offer help and welcome to the refugees who stop for a while at the border before continuing on their way.
Archbishop Vasil’ thanked the Pope for his closeness expressed through the presence of Cardinal Czerny.
Continuing mission to Ukrainian refugees
Cardinal Czerny visited Hungary last week, and briefly entered Ukraine (7-10 March), while Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner, visited Ukraine, entering via the Polish-Ukrainian border.
The Holy See Press Office said that the Holy Father wishes, through his envoy, to convey his prayerful “closeness to those fleeing the fighting in Ukraine and suffering violence at the hand of others.”