Reports suggest that Pope Francis is keen to initiate peace discussions between Russia and Ukraine, and intends to send special envoys to Moscow and Kyiv.
A renowned Vatican blog, Il Sismografo, revealed on May 18 that the respective Presidents of Ukraine and Russia, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Vladimir Putin, have shown readiness to engage in dialogue with the Pope’s representatives.
As of yet, the Vatican’s internal team, including the press office, has neither confirmed nor revealed any details about this mission. The blog further speculated that Bologna Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, who presides over the Italian bishops’ conference, is being considered as the envoy to Kyiv, while Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, a Russian-speaking prefect, is touted as the envoy to Moscow. However, the blog also highlighted that these selections are not confirmed and need final approval.
The Pope, returning from Hungary on April 30, vaguely mentioned a peace mission but refrained from sharing specifics. The blog connected his comments with the proposed talks with Zelenskyy and Putin. Nevertheless, spokespersons for both countries denied any knowledge of the Pope’s initiative, despite claims to the contrary by the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
Furthermore, the Pope held meetings with key figures, including Zelenskyy and Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, earlier in May. Despite these activities, the progress of the mission appears slow and uncertain, as inferred by Il Sismografo.