Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Pope's envoy for the Ukrainian settlement, celebrates a Holy Mass during the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Moscow, Russia, 29 June 2023. EFE-EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY

US President Biden meets Pope’s peace envoy to discuss Ukraine war

Washington, July 18 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis’ special envoy Cardinal Matteo Zuppi on Tuesday to discuss the Vatican’s peace efforts to stop the Ukraine war.

“President Biden shared his wishes for Pope Francis’ continued ministry and global leadership and welcomed the recent nomination of a US archbishop as cardinal,” said a presidential readout of the meeting at the White House.

The two also discussed the Holy See’s efforts to provide humanitarian aid to address the widespread suffering caused by Russia’s continuing aggression in Ukraine.

Biden and Zuppi also spoke about the Vatican’s advocacy for the return of forcibly deported Ukrainian children.

The Holy See Press Office statement Monday said the purpose of Zuppi’s visit to Washington was to “promote peace in Ukraine”.

“It seeks to facilitate the exchange of ideas and opinions regarding the current tragic situation, as well as to provide support for humanitarian initiatives aimed at alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable people, particularly children.”

The Pope has been a vocal advocate for peace, consistently calling on world leaders and individuals alike to work towards resolving conflict through peaceful means.

He has made numerous appeals for prayers for the people suffering because of the Ukraine war.

Earlier this year, Francis appointed the Italian cardinal to lead the Vatican mission “to help ease tensions in the conflict in Ukraine.”

Zuppi heads the Italian Bishops’ Conference and is a longtime member of the Sant’Egidio Community. He has vast experience in conflict resolution.

With the Catholic movement of the Community of Sant’Egidio, he mediated peace in Mozambique, Burundi, and Guatemala.

In 2012, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Rome by Benedict XVI, while Francis named him archbishop of Bologna in 2015. He became the cardinal four years later.

Zuppi visited the Ukrainian capital on June 5-6 where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and several other high-level officials.

The cardinal then traveled to Moscow on June 28-30, where he met with Yuri Ushakov, assistant to the President of the Russian Federation for Foreign Policy Affairs, and Maria Lvova-Belova, Children’s Rights Commissioner for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In Russia, Zuppi met with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to convey Pope Francis’ greetings and discuss humanitarian initiatives that could foster peace in Ukraine. EFE