Pope Francis Meets With Ukrainian President Zelenskyy At The Vatican

On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Pope Francis at the Vatican, saying it was a pleasure to meet with the pontiff, who has previously vowed to do anything he can to help end the war sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine a year ago.

As the pope approached him with a cane, Zelenskyy pressed his hand to his heart before leading the Ukrainian leader into a papal studio. 

"Thank you for your visit," Francis stated at the start of their 40-minute meeting. The Vatican stated in a written statement that the two leaders discussed Ukraine's "humanitarian and political situation exacerbated by the ongoing war."

"The pope assured his constant prayer, paid witness to by his many public appeals and by his continued invoking of the Lord for peace, since February of last year,'' the Vatican said, a reference to the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, by Russia's military. 

"Both agreed on the need to continue humanitarian efforts" to assist the people. "The pope emphasized the urgent need for 'humanitarian gestures' toward the most vulnerable persons, innocent victims of the conflict," according to the statement.

Denys Shmyhal, Ukraine's prime minister, met with Francis at the Vatican last month and said he requested the pontiff to assist Ukraine in reclaiming children who were illegally abducted to Russia during the invasion.

The Vatican's message on Saturday made no mention of it, and there were no immediate details regarding Zelenskyy's meeting with the pontiff from his side.


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