Vatican Secretary of State assessed the war in Ukraine and the possibility of the Pope's visit
"The war in Ukraine strikes us for various reasons, primarily because it is a conflict in the heart of Europe between Christian countries, which was started by a country with nuclear warheads, with a specific probability that the situation may get out of control. I think that we are not yet able to predict whether the consequences of what is happening will lead to the third World War. Thousands of deaths, destroyed cities, millions of displaced people, devastated the natural environment, the threat of famine due to grain shortages in many parts of the world, the energy crisis," the cardinal commented on the war in Ukraine.
Answering a question from journalists about the possibility of Pope Francis traveling to countries at war, the Secretary of state noted that the Pope's greatest desire and, therefore, "his priority" is that "through his travels, concrete benefits can be achieved."
"In this perspective, he said that he wants to go to Kyiv to bring comfort and hope to the population suffering from the war. He also announced his readiness to make a trip to Moscow if there are conditions that will really be useful for peace," Cardinal Parolin explained, adding: "I think that the victims of war and all forgotten conflicts lie in the Pope's heart. First of all, the dead, their relatives, those who lost everything and were forced to flee. Pope Francis wanted to specifically show this closeness through the travels of Cardinals Konrad Krajewski and Michael Cerny and the mission of Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for relations with states and international organizations, to Ukraine."
The interlocutors also touched upon the topic of church relations in Ukraine.
According to Cardinal Parolin, "Churches in Ukraine will increasingly realize both their differences and what unites them." If we are talking about the situation of Catholic communities of the two rites, he noted that "in Ukraine, both Latin and Greek Catholic churches are very dynamic, and although they are called to partially different cultural components and social reality, both honor and develop the identity of the Ukrainian people."
"I imagine," he said, "that the sad experience they are going through together will strengthen solidarity between them and other churches in the country. Shared suffering usually strengthens the sense of friendship."