Cardinal Krajewski delivering the first ambulance donated by Pope Francis to help Ukrainian children in Lviv Cardinal Krajewski delivering the first ambulance donated by Pope Francis to help Ukrainian children in Lviv 

Cardinal Krajewski to deliver another ambulance from Pope to Ukraine

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner, is set to return for the third time to Ukraine and deliver another ambulance on Pope Francis' behalf on Holy Thursday, in an effort to "console and embrace" people suffering in the war-ravaged nation.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

As the humanitarian emergency in Ukraine worsens by the minute, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski will bring another fully-equipped ambulance to Ukraine, in the name of Pope Francis.

The Papal Almoner will deliver the ambulance in Kyiv on Holy Thursday and is traveling on behalf of the Pope, who "wishes to kneel before and kiss the feet of his suffering Ukrainian brothers and sisters." 

Showing Pope's support

This trip to Kyiv will mark the third visit of the Polish Cardinal, who heads the Office of Papal Charities, to the war-devastated nation to show Pope Francis' closeness to the country's suffering people. This will be the second ambulance he provides them on the Pope's behalf.

The news was published on Saturday in a statement by the Pope's charitable office which, following the recently published Apostolic Constitution 'Praedicate Evangelium' reforming the Roman Curia, will become its own dicastery in June.

The statement stressed, "The gift of the ambulance, just like the date chosen for its delivery, has a great symbolic value: remembering the gesture of closeness and the service given by Jesus during the Last Supper, at the vigil of His Passion, washed the feet of His disciples."

Through this gesture, the statement explained, "Pope Francis desires to kneel himself down before the men and women of Ukraine wounded by the war, and witness his closeness."

“When a person is wounded, ill or having difficulty, they will be brought on the ambulance, so they are able to feel the embrace and consolation of the Pope, who wishes to wash and kiss the feet of those brothers and sisters who suffer the unjust violence of the war.”

Inside the second ambulance destined for Ukraine
Inside the second ambulance destined for Ukraine

From 6 to 12 March, the Papal Almoner visited Rivne, Zhovkva and other conflict-affected areas. On 29 March, he delivered the first ambulance to the Ukrainian Western city of Lviv, near the Polish border, destined for a paediatric hospital to save children who come from war areas.

As the world's 1.2 billion Catholics prepare for Holy Week, the war in Ukraine continues to wage on, and the bloodshed continues forcing millions, especially women and children, to flee their homes to nearby countries. 

Pope Francis has made countless appeals for the war to end and has continuously offered the Holy See's availability to mediate and to do whatever possible to end the conflict. On the flight to Malta last weekend, the Holy Father was asked whether he would consider accepting the offer to him to go to Kyiv and responded that it is on the table. At the sidelines of an event at Vatican Radio on Thursday, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, also discussed the possibility of such a trip and what conditions would be required.

Horrendous cruelties

During his Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis deplored war crimes being perpetrated, as images of mass graves and executed civilians scattered on the streets surfaced in the Ukrainian town of Bucha outside the Ukrainian capital. The suburban town which lies to the northwest of Kyiv was held by Russian forces from 27 February until 31 March when troops withdrew from the area.

The Holy Father unfurled a war-stained flag from the town at the audience and decried the tragic events.

“Ever more horrendous cruelties [are occurring], even against civilians, women, and helpless children. They are victims whose innocent blood cries out to heaven and implores.”

At the same General Audience, Pope Francis once again decried the onslaught, appealing again for Russia's war on Ukraine to end.

“May this war cease! May weapons fall silent. Stop sowing death and destruction”

According to Asia News, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, spoke to young people in Fanar, the world headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Church, on Friday, where he stressed that "dialogue is the only way to stop the war in Ukraine."

Reports suggest that atrocities committed against civilians outside Kyiv, and in the strategic port city of Mariupol, are far greater than what is currently known.

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09 April 2022, 14:43