Pope’s peace envoy on Ukraine says aim is dialogue, not mediation

Shortly after returning from Ukraine, where he undertook a special peace mission on behalf of Pope Francis, Italian Cardinal Matteo Zuppi stressed the importance of dialogue and said his visit was not an attempt at mediation.

Speaking to journalists on the margins of a June 7 book presentation the day after returning from Kyiv, Zuppi said the Vatican’s objective for the visit was “not a mediation,” but rather “expressing interest, closeness, listening so that the conflict can find paths to peace.”

“The rest are expectations or speculations that some have,” he said.

Zuppi’s effort to distance the Vatican from a “mediator” role may have been an attempt to defuse Ukrainian sensitivities.

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