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Holy See Communiqué, 30.06.2023

On the days 28 to 30 of this month, His Eminence Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, envoy of the Holy Father, paid a visit to Moscow aimed at identifying humanitarian initiatives that may open up pathways to achieving peace.

In the three days, His Eminence met with His Excellency Yuri Ushakov, assistant to the President of the Russian Federation for foreign affairs, and Ms. Maria Lvova-Belova, commissioner to the President of the Russian Federation for children’s rights. During the discussions, the humanitarian aspect of the initiative was strongly emphasized, alongside the need to be able to achieve the much-desired peace.

In a brief visit to the Church of Saint Nicholas in Tolmachi, at the State Tretyakov Gallery, His Eminence paused in prayer before the icon of Our Lady of Vladimir, to whom he had entrusted his mission.

He also had a fruitful encounter with His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’, to whom he conveyed the Holy Father’s greeting and with whom he also discussed humanitarian initiatives that may facilitate a peaceful solution.

His Eminence also met with the bishops of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Russian Federation, with whom, along with a large group of priests and in the presence of ambassadors and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he presided over a solemn concelebration in the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow. This provided an opportunity to convey the closeness, remembrance and prayer of the Holy Father to the Catholic community.

The results of the visit will be made known to the Holy Father, with a view to further steps to be taken, both at humanitarian level and in the search for pathways to peace.