Pope says the Vatican is involved in a peace mission to end the war in Ukraine
The Vatican is part of a peace mission to end the war in Ukraine, Pope Francis said Sunday.
“The mission is in the course now, but it is not yet public. When it is public, I will reveal it,” Francis told reporters.
The pontiff made the remarks as he returned to Rome following a three-day trip to the Hungarian capital, Budapest.
During his visit, Francis met with a representative from the pro-Kremlin Russian Orthodox church, Metropolitan Hilarion, and separately with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Asked if the meetings could accelerate peace, Francis said: “I believe that peace is always made by opening channels; peace can never be made by closure.”
Also asked if he was willing to help facilitate the return of Ukrainian children taken to Russia, the pope said: “The Holy See is willing to act because it is right, it just is.”
At a meeting with the pope last week, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal asked for his assistance with the children’s return.
Francis also heard testimony from refugees – many from Ukraine – and appealed to the importance of charity during his Budapest visit.
On Sunday, the pontiff also told reporters that he was feeling better after being hospitalized in late March with a respiratory infection.