Cardinal Krajewski in Ukraine ‘with the logic of the Gospel’

The Pope’s almsgiver spoke to journalists in Lviv, Ukraine, on Thursday, as high-level talks between the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia in Turkey ended without an accord.

By Robin Gomes

“I am not a diplomat. I came here with the logic of the Gospel. That's what Jesus would do. He was always on the side of the people who were suffering. The Holy Father also uses this logic of the Gospel.” 

This is what the Pope’s official Almoner or almsgiver, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski told reporters on Thursday in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, where he is expressing the closeness of Pope Francis for the suffering people.  

Presence is love

The 58-year-old cardinal who heads the Office of Papal Charities, the Holy See’s department charged with exercising charity to the poor in the name of the Pope, said it was important to be present in the “tormented nation” stressing “presence is the first name of love”.  Besides providing moral support and sharing our faith with the people he said, “we also carry the hope of getting out of this terrible situation”.  


There is very concrete help for Ukraine that comes through diplomatic channels but also locally.  Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia met in Turkey on Thursday.  On being asked whether it is possible to talk about negotiations while hospitals are being bombed, Cardinal Krajewski said he was not a diplomat but was there with the “logic of love” just as Jesus would have done.

Prayer, fasting, almsgiving

He spoke about “the three most sophisticated weapons in the world: prayer, fasting and almsgiving”.   “Alms means something that hurts me, that I suffer because I have to share myself with others - and this we do by now, even in Europe we pay higher bills precisely because of this conflict that exists.”  Referring to the day’s Gospel, he said, “whoever knocks will finally find the door open, whoever prays will receive, but we must be constant.” 


The other potent weapon is fasting by which “I invite God right into myself, I desire His presence, through fasting I want to remove from me everything that does not belong to Him to make room for Him.”

Faith can move mountains

There is also the weapon of faith that “can move mountains, let alone stupid wars”.  He said faith is also the strength of Ukrainians, who with love for their country and families manage to resist and save their homeland.  It could also be frightening for those who are attacking Ukraine.

The 58-year-old cardinal said he was leaving Lviv and plans to go as far as possible to the east.  He thanked the journalists for being there saying they are doing much for Ukraine.

Cardinal Krajewski's interview (in Italian)
11 March 2022, 09:25