Cardinal Zuppi Goes to Moscow as Pope Francis’ Peace Envoy

This week, the Vatican announced that Cardinal Matteo Zuppi will visit Moscow as part of a peace mission entrusted to him by Pope Francis.

Newsdesk (27/06/2023 20:05, Gaudium Press) Cardinal Zuppi’s visit comes shortly after a brief uprising by the paramilitary organization known as the Wagner Group against the Russian government. The purpose of the cardinal’s two-day visit is to encourage gestures of humanity and contribute to finding a just peace in the current tragic situation.

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Zuppi as a papal envoy to initiate paths of peace between Russia and Ukraine. Prior to his visit to Moscow, Cardinal Zuppi visited Kyiv, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other political leaders. President Zelenskyy expressed the need for joint efforts, diplomatic isolation, and pressure on Russia to bring a just peace to Ukrainian soil. He also requested the assistance of the Holy See in implementing the Ukrainian peace plan.

An official from the Vatican Secretariat of State will accompany Cardinal Zuppi during his visit to Moscow. The city is still dealing with the consequences of the recent Wagner rebellion, which could potentially impact the next phase of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Cardinal Zuppi, who serves as the archbishop of Bologna and president of the Italian bishops’ conference, has strong connections with the peace-building community Sant’Egidio. Sant’Egidio is a Catholic lay association that has been involved in peace negotiations in various countries.

Cardinal Zuppi’s visit to Moscow and Cardinal Konrad Krajewski’s recent humanitarian aid trip to Ukraine’s Kherson region demonstrate Pope Francis’ commitment to addressing conflicts and promoting peace in war zones.

  • Raju Hasmukh with files from CNA
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