Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Zuppi to lead peace mission in Ukraine

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In a significant move aimed at resolving the ongoing war, Pope Francis has entrusted Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, the Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Bishops' Conference, to lead a peace mission in Ukraine.

The Holy See Press Office confirmed this development on May 20, underscoring the Pope's commitment to easing tensions in the region.

Vatican News reported that Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, told the journalists: "I can confirm that Pope Francis has entrusted Cardinal Matteo Zuppi with the responsibility of leading a mission, in agreement with the Secretariat of State, that contributes to an easing of tensions in the Ukraine conflict, in the hopes that this can initiate paths of peace, something never abandoned by the Holy Father."

The Vatican aims to leverage Cardinal Zuppi's diplomatic skills and vast network to contribute to de-escalating tensions and paving the way for a lasting resolution in Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky had a chance to speak to Pope Francis in the Vatican for 40 minutes on May 13 during the Ukrainian leader's state visit to Italy, marking the first time Zelensky has met with the Pope since 2020.

Pope Francis reportedly gifted Zelensky a small olive branch sculpture that symbolizes peace, while Zelensky gave the pontiff an icon of the Virgin Mary painted onto a piece of body armor.