The silent diplomacy of the Vatican in Ukraine


Ukraine fits on Striyska Street. There they live two religionssometimes more, and various nationalities. So together they seem to better withstand the tragedy of war. The Venezuelan José Jesús Pacheco, a seminarian, shares a room with the Ukrainian Vitaliy Dmytryshym, a short distance from what used to be the room of the priest Gregorio Draus, who is Polish. Draus, who has lived in Ukraine for an eternityhas taken over a group of displaced. Of the latter there is also a varied list: Ukrainians have arrived above all, but also Venezuelans, Spaniards, Indians, Congolese. Most have fled as best they could, escaping a conflict that, like many, they did not see coming. Some are still here.

The first, second and third floors used to be the offices of the Catholic parish of Saint John Paul II of Lviv, some rooms to teach preschool children and others to pray. Now the snapshot is monotonous: dozens of people spend their days on mattresses thrown on the floor, with gloomy faces, some with hair that hasn’t been washed for days, at the waiting for a bus to evacuate them or tell them where they can stay until the war rage recedes. Everything is coordinated by the two seminarians and the parish priest. “We were four and now we are two hundred. It is really incredible what has happened & rdquor ;, says Pacheco, together with a volunteer from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Churcha denomination that was founded in the year 988 and that has recently come back to the Pope of Rome.

“The Orthodox help us a lot, I call them at any time and they always answer. In this war we are collaborating like never before & rdquor ;, adds Draus, opening step in this place that today lives on its strength and international aid. On the right is Ludmila, who is 68 years old, with her very sick husband with whom she spent fourteen days hiding in a basement of her house near the bullet-riddled Buchain the north of Ukraine, and a little further Igor, who is nine months old, and a father who stayed in Zaporizhia, in the south of the country. And then you see four other teenage girls with painted nails who lived in Kharkiv. The only adult is the mother of two of them, who does not let them step on the street. And she also hangs around an old lady who smiles, even though her eyes cry.

“I know it’s chaos but we won’t stop helping them & rdquor ;, adds Draus while a bus from Rome unloads humanitarian aid and loads people who want to cross the border. “The positive thing is that they support us. One of the first calls I received was from Poland and has also been with us Cardinal (Konrad) Krajewski, the Pope’s beggar& rdquor ;, says the priest while the Italian benefactors of Caritas they hasten to start the journey back.

solo mission

Krajewski has been the news of the week for the parish of San Juan Pablo II. Known in Rome for bringing blankets and food to the homeless, the priest has entered Ukraine to organize the delivery of medical supplies and medicines, at a time when the Ukrainian hospitals even denounce the shortage of insulin. However, Krajewski has not only done this, he has also made it felt that his is not a solo mission, but that of the envoy of the Pope himself. Francis “wants to be present in this martyred nation & rdquor;because “we must be present and then, of course, beyond moral help, beyond faith, we bring hope of being able to get out of this terrible situation & rdquor ;, he said from the Lviv cathedral, speaking with an Italian journalist -Argentina.

Related news

Krajewski, who is still in Ukraine and has embarked on a journey closer to the front lines, has not been alone. On the other side, on the Hungarian border, he was echoed by the Czech-Canadian Michael Czerny, also sent by Francisco and who met with the thousands of refugees who are in that border. Czerny also spoke with the country’s deputy prime minister, Zsolt Semjén, who, in front of him, said that Hungary will welcome refugees “without any limit & rdquor ;.

The Pope, who at the time met several times with Vladimir Putin, has not stopped condemning the war started by the Russian president. However, also offered to mediate to end hostilitiessomething that is in line with the consolidated strategy of the Vatican silent diplomacy in an attempt to facilitate dialogue. Something that during the Second World War, as has always been defended within the Catholic Church, saved hundreds of Jews who could thus be hidden from the nazi barbarism.


Leave a Comment