The Vatican is taking part in a peace mission to Ukraine to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Pope Francis said in an interview on Sunday evening on a papal plane en route to Rome after a three-day visit to Hungary.
Peace mission in Ukraine
“I am ready to do whatever is necessary. A mission is underway, but it is not yet public. When it is, I will reveal it,” the Catholic Church leader said, without giving further details of those efforts.
“I believe that peace can only be made by opening channels. Peace can never be achieved through isolation,” the Pope said.
He said he had discussed the situation in Ukraine with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Metropolitan Hilarion, the governor of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Budapest-Hungary diocese.
“At the meetings we did not just talk about Red Riding Hood and the wolf. We discussed all these things. Everyone is interested in the path to peace,”
Pope Francis stressed.
Kiev and Moscow
Since the beginning of the Russian aggression in Ukraine last February, Vatican has called for peace on an almost weekly basis and has repeatedly expressed his willingness to act as a mediator between Kiev and Moscow.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmihal discussed peace efforts, the humanitarian situation and the churches in Ukraine with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday. Smihal also invited the Catholic Church leader to visit the Ukrainian capital.
Pope Francis, 86, has already spoken of visiting Kiev and Moscow as part of a peace mission.
Read all the news about the Pope’s visit to Hungary here.