Ukrainian president, ambassador ask Pope Francis to visit war-torn country

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Pope Francis and Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently held their second phone call since the start of the war in Ukraine, during which the Ukrainian president invited the Pope to visit the country.

President of Ukraine

I thanked His Holiness for a clear and strong position against the war and for his prayers for Ukraine. I invited him to visit our country at this crucial time. I believe that we will be able to organize this important visit which will unequivocally support each of us, each Ukrainian.

It's a sentiment shared by Ukraine's Ambassador to the Holy See, who says Ukrainians are ardently hoping for a visit from Pope Francis.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the Holy See

Our hearts are open and the country will do everything possible to make a possible trip to Ukraine as safe as it can be done in this situation.

President Zelenskyy and Pope Francis spoke on the phone on February 26, less than 48 hours after Russia launched its invasion.

Yet the Ambassador says their conversation was very different this time around. Since the Ukrainian military has withstood Russian forces much longer than anticipated, he says they focused on the implementation of humanitarian corridors to areas besieged by fighting.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the Holy See

Surely, it became more terrible conditions for more thousands of people, and this humanitarian aspect of the conversation was really important.

Nearly 1,000 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion, and major cities such as Mariupol haven't had access to clean drinking water or medicine for weeks.

For its part, the Vatican says it is doing everything it can to bring the war to an end, which Ukrainians hope includes a papal visit.

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