Vatican's Secretary of State in Zaporizhia to officially announce humanitarian action “Pope for Ukraine”
On June 16, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin comes to Zaporizhia for the official one-day visit. While in Zaporizhia, the papal representative will officially announce the launch of humanitarian action Vatican "Pope to Ukraine" intended for the victims of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Cardinal Parolin starts his visit to Ukraine in Zaporizhia, which is called the “heart of Ukraine,” then he is to visit the capital, where he will meet with the President of the country, representatives of state and local authorities, hierarchs of the Catholic Church, the IDPs and the Committee of "Pope for Ukraine."
On April 24, following the call of Pope Francis, the Catholics in the world began collecting assistance to Ukraine (donations continue now). In addition, a significant amount of donations was allocated personally by the Pope. To distribute the aid, a special technical committee was established. Bishop of Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia Diocese of RCC in Ukraine Jan Sobilo, who is renowned for multiple humanitarian activities was appointed Chairman of the committee.
On June 14, Bishop Jan Sobilo said during a press conference in Zaporizhia press center:
"The Vatican’s Secretary of State is the second person after the Pope, his position can be equated to the Prime Minister of a secular state. The schedule of the visit of Cardinal Pietro Parolin in Zaporizhia includes a meeting with officials, meeting with poor people who receive meals in the dining room "Good bread" at the Catholic temple. At 15:00 on June 16 in the Church of God the Merciful Father a joint prayer will be held, which anyone may attend. There the Vatican envoy will announce major tasks that Pope Francis has set to its delegate in Ukraine.”
During the press conference the official website of “Pope for Ukraine” was presented. Special forms will be filled on popeforukraine.com.ua by those who need help.
"We know that many poor people, especially in rural areas, have no internet,” Bishop Jan Sobilo said. “So ask your neighbors and friends to help them - print the form, fill together, send us email (69035, Zaporizhia, st. Zavodskaya 21A) or bring them to the church. Phone: +38 (061) 213-33-33. We have great hope for the sincere help of people who care, as the funds from the Pope should be given to the poorest of the poor. I understand very well that there may be a lot of criticism, accusations of unfair division of the funds and I am ready to be a "cat to be skinned alive,” the Bishop jokes.” There will always be those unsatisfied, but the funds will be allocated transparently, the Committee will decide to whom they provide and there will be full accountability. We will work together with government agencies, departments of social protection of ordinary citizens, priests, parishioners of various churches. We understand peculiarities of sending aid to the territory uncontrolled by Ukraine - it will go through the distribution to needy believers.”
A meeting of the Vatican’s Secretary of State with the leadership of the region and the city is planned to be held in Kyiv.
"Unique is the fact that it is in Zaporizhia that the first official meeting of Cardinal Pietro Parolin will be, and his speeches and statements will be delivered,”- said Director of Culture, Tourism, nationalities and religions Zaporizhzhya Regional State Administration Vladislav Moroko at the meeting. “We feel gratitude for it. In our front-line zone the peace and mutual respect is maintained between all religions. Common events are being organized, the Coordinating Council of Churches is operating. We understand that this visit is high recognition of our work.”