Pope Francis receives the ambassador of Kiev to the Holy See. A move that many observers see as a new piece in the diplomatic mosaic that Jorge Maria Bergoglio is composing in view of an upcoming trip to Ukraine. It is difficult to imagine that the Pontiff did not speak of his desire, especially since Andrii Yurash in recent months has been very active, in hearings and on social networks, to plead the cause of his country. If this is the background, clearly a profound movement is taking place which aims to allow Bergoglio to travel to Kiev as well as to Moscow, according to a wish expressed for some time.
Such a strong wish and desire that on 8 July the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher had gone so far as to say that a visit to Kiev could take place by the end of August. «The Pope is very convinced that if he could pay a visit he could also have positive results. He said he will go to Ukraine and he has always shown himself willing to visit Moscow and also to meet the Russian authorities », he told Tg1 Gallagher.
When asked if the trip could be imminent, even in August, Gallagher replied: “Possibly, I would not rule it out, but a lot depends on the results of the trip to Canada, let’s see how the Pope will resist this journey, which is also very demanding and then let’s see “.
The mission to Canada, to ask forgiveness from the indigenous people for the past shame of the Church, went so well that another trip to the other side of the world was immediately planned. After the announcement of his trip to Kazkhstan scheduled for 13 to 15 September, on the occasion of which it was said in the past he could meet with the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Moscow Kirill, Francis made his activity towards the countries more evident. protagonists of the war in Ukraine.
The Pope yesterday recognized the martyrdom of Father Petro Paolo Oros, a priest belonging to the Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Mukaevo, Ukraine, killed on August 28, 1953 by the communist authorities in Siltse, in the Zakarpattia oblast, in the then Soviet Union. A very clear signal, which will be even stronger with the beatification of the religious, of the attention to a Church rather than a frontier, at the forefront. The same church that, last Good Friday, had to object to the papal decision to have two girls, one Russian and the other Ukrainian, hold the Cross. But since then the diplomatic work has not become more intense, and the fruits seem to be visible.
It is no coincidence that, again yesterday, the Pope made an even stronger gesture formally, receiving in audience Metropolitan Antonij of Volokolamsk, who last June replaced Metropolitan Hilarion as president of the Department of External Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate . Hilarion had paid for the tensions unleashed by the conflict: in Switzerland he was deprived of a university chair in March because he was considered too close to the Kremlin, and then he was deprived of his post at the Patriarchate by a Kirill who believed him, on the contrary, too soft on the Ukrainian question.
The unsuccessful meeting via Skype between Bergoglio and Kirill himself weighs heavily on everything, and the Pope reproached the need not to be “state altar servers”. Words not very welcome. Now we prefer to remember that later, on April 25, Francis sent a letter of good wishes to Patriarch Kirill on the occasion of the Easter of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches that follow the Julian calendar. “May the Holy Spirit – wrote the Pope in a passage of the letter – transform our hearts and make us true peacemakers, especially for war-torn Ukraine”, while “we feel all the weight of the suffering of our human family, crushed from violence, war and many injustices ». The route to Kiev could then pass through Kazakhstan. After all, that too is a former Soviet republic.