The Vatican Cardinal will make a second visit to the Ukrainian border at the request of Pope Francis | National Catholic Register

“Cardinal Czerny will return to Ukraine, at the request of Pope Francis, to show the closeness of the Holy Father to those who live with pain the consequences of the ongoing war,” the Vatican said March 14.

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Michael Czerny will make a second trip to the Ukrainian border at the request of Pope Francis, the Vatican announced Monday.

The Jesuit cardinal, who visited the Hungarian-Ukrainian border last week, will arrive in Slovakia on March 16 and head east of the central European country, which shares a border with western ‘Ukraine.

“Cardinal Czerny will return to Ukraine, at the request of Pope Francis, to show the closeness of the Holy Father to those who live with pain the consequences of the ongoing war,” the Vatican said March 14.

The 75-year-old cardinal, who is acting head of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, visited Ukrainian refugees who arrived in Hungary from March 8-11.

Czerny was born in Brno, a city in the former Czechoslovakia, in 1946, before his family moved to Canada two years later. Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, or Slovakia, in 1993 following the collapse of communism.

The papal chaplain, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, also visited Ukraine at the request of Pope Francis. While in the western city of Lviv, he helped load humanitarian aid trucks destined for areas of the country under bombardment. Cardinal Krajewski left Ukraine for Rome on March 12.

According to Vatican News, Cardinal Czerny said the presence of the papal envoys in Ukraine was “a double response, that of immediate charity and that of long-term integral human development. A commitment that will span the ages.

The Vatican said: “Pope Francis continues this mission with prayer, like those of the last few days, and, through His Eminence [Czerny]wants to get closer to those fleeing the fighting and suffering from the violence of other men.

On Monday, Pope Francis met with Eduard Heger, the prime minister of Slovakia, a country that has received more than 200,000 people from Ukraine since the large-scale Russian invasion on February 24.

The Holy See’s press office said Heger also met with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and “Foreign Minister” Archbishop Paul Gallagher.

The talks included “an in-depth discussion on the war in Ukraine and its impact on a regional and international level, with particular attention to the humanitarian situation and the reception of war refugees”, the press office said.

The Pope met on the same day Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, which borders Russia.

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