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Papal envoy meets Catholic leaders in Ukraine

Papal envoy meets Catholic leaders in Ukraine

Papal envoy Cardinal Konrad Krajewski meets with Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki and Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk in Ukraine on March 8, 2022. | Twitter @StanislawBudzik.

By Catholic News Agency

March 10, 2022

LVIV, Ukraine— A papal envoy to Ukraine met on Tuesday with the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) and the head of Ukraine’s Latin Rite bishops’ conference.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, was pictured in Lviv, western Ukraine, with Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk and Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki.

Krajewski is one of two cardinals visiting the war-torn country at Pope Francis’ behest. He entered the country via his native Poland.

The UGCC’s department for information said on March 9 that during the meeting the three men spoke directly with the pope via telephone.

“The papal legate told the Holy Father about his first impressions of the visit, in particular about what he saw in Poland. The pope was also informed about the program of his envoy’s visit to Ukraine, which had been previously discussed by the participants of the meeting,” it said.

“It is important to specify that the papal legate’s visit to Ukraine is not scheduled so far. The Holy Father instructed him to be in Ukraine as long as necessary to provide support for the Ukrainian people on behalf of the Apostolic See in these dramatic moments of its history.”

Shevchuk said: “Pope Francis wants to be present in person through his legate. And this is the purpose of his visit.”

The major archbishop, who has led the UGCC since 2011, traveled to Lviv from the besieged city of Kyiv, where he has been sheltering with others under the Cathedral of the Resurrection.

Mokrzycki has led the Archdiocese of Lviv of the Latins since 2008. He served as John Paul II’s deputy personal secretary from 1996 until the Polish pope’s death in 2005. He then spent two years as secretary to Pope Benedict XVI.

Krajewski is expected to visit social service centers run by the UGCC and pray with members of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO).

In a March 8 statement, the council condemned the shelling of civilians.

“The disdainful attitude of the Russian leadership towards human life, which we see in regard to Russian soldiers who were thrown into the jaws of the war of conquest, is now manifested in relation to the civilian population of Ukraine, which is forced to escape from Russian missiles and occupiers, migrating to safer regions of our country and to neighboring states of the European Union,” it said.

Pope Francis announced in his Angelus address on March 6 that he was sending the 58-year-old Polish cardinal and Cardinal Michael Czerny, the interim prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, to Ukraine.

Czerny met with Ukrainian refugees in the Hungarian capital Budapest on March 8.

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