Vatican City, June 5 (EFE).- Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi was on Monday set to arrive in Kyiv on a peace mission sent by Pope Francis, the Vatican reported.
“On 5-6 June 2023, Card. Matteo Maria Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, will pay a visit to Kyiv as Envoy of the Holy Father Francis,” the Vatican said in a brief note.
The main objective of the two-day mission “is to listen in depth to the Ukrainian authorities about the possible ways to reach a just peace and support humanity gestures that contribute to easing tensions,” it concluded.
According to the intention of the pontiff, Zuppi may be the only interlocutor between Moscow and Kyiv. For the moment, his agenda in Ukraine has not been disclosed.
The pontiff gave Zuppi the responsibility of “leading a mission, in agreement with the Secretariat of State, that contributes to an easing of tensions in the Ukraine conflict, in the hopes that this can initiate paths of peace,” the Vatican announced on May 20.
The Archbishop of Bologna is known for being a “street priest” devoted to the poorest and to migrants, despite having been named cardinal.
These characteristics, but above all his mediation work in the peace agreements in Mozambique in 1992, in Guatemala in the mid-1990s and for his collaboration with Nelson Mandela for the ceasefire in Burundi in 2003, have led the pontiff to entrust him with the delicate mission to Ukraine. EFE