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Holy See Communiqué, 19.07.2023

On the days 17 to 19 July, His Eminence Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, envoy of the Holy Father, visited Washington, accompanied by an official of the Secretariat of State, in order to continue the mission entrusted to him by Pope Francis, and in this context to meet the President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden.

Upon arrival in the evening of 17 July, at the Apostolic Nunciature, His Eminence had a discussion with Archbishop Timothy Broglio, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, during which some reflections were exchanged on the war in Ukraine and the Holy See initiatives in favour of the victims and to promote peace.

The following morning, at the Rayburn House Office Building, the Vatican delegation, joined by the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, and the Reverend Msgr. Séamus Patrick Horgan, advisor of the Apostolic Nunciature, met some members of the United States Government’s Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), to whom they presented the nature and development of the mission entrusted to them by the Pope, and together reflected on ways in which it could be made more effective.

In the afternoon of the same day, the Pontifical Envoy and the other members of the Delegation were received in the White House by President Joseph R. Biden, to whom Cardinal Zuppi delivered a letter from the Holy Father, emphasizing the Pope’s sorrow for the suffering caused by the war. The meeting, which began shortly after 17.00 and lasted over an hour, took place in an atmosphere of great cordiality and reciprocal listening. During the talks, assurance was given of the full readiness to support initiatives in the humanitarian sphere, particularly for children and the most vulnerable, and to respond to this urgency to foster pathways of peace.

On the morning of 19 July, the Vatican Delegation participated in the Senate Prayer Breakfast at the United States Congress Building, during which Cardinal Zuppi had the opportunity to inform the participants about the meetings that have taken place during the various stages of his peace mission. During the course of the meeting, appreciation was expressed for the Holy See’s efforts, and the responsibility of each individual to work for peace was emphasized.