Pope Francis is sending Cardinal Krajewski to Ukraine on a humanitarian mission
Papal envoy Cardinal Konrad Krajewski prays at a mass grave in Ukraine on Good Friday, April 15, 2022. / Vatican Media.
Vatican City, Jun 22, 2023 / 10:05 am (CNA).
Pope Francis has asked Cardinal Konrad Krajewski to return to Ukraine for a sixth time to bring humanitarian aid to people suffering from the war.
The Polish cardinal, who serves as the papal almoner, will travel to Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, where a recent dam collapse caused deadly flooding.
“Cardinal Konrad Krajewski’s mission is to be with the people, pray with them, and bring an embrace and concrete support from the pontiff,” the Vatican Dicastery for the Service of Charity announced June 22.
Krajewski will travel to Ukraine in a car filled with the most needed medicines. During his drive, the cardinal plans to stop along the way to visit Catholic parishes and Orthodox religious communities.
A second truck will deliver medical supplies directly to the areas most affected by the flooding caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam on June 6. Many of the medical supplies were donated by South Korea, according to the dicastery.
Earlier this week, U.N. aid workers said they were blocked from visiting the Russian-occupied areas damaged by the dam collapse. The destroyed dam is on the Dnieper River, which currently divides Russian troops on its eastern banks from Ukrainian forces to the west.
The dam collapsed immediately following an overnight explosion that registered at nearly a 2 on the seismic scale. Ukrainian officials blamed Russia for the explosion.
Pope Francis has already sent Krajewski to Ukraine five times since Russia invaded the country last year. On one of Krajewski’s prior trips, the cardinal was shot at as he delivered humanitarian aid near the city of Zaporizhzhia. He has also prayed beside multiple mass graves in Ukraine, including on Good Friday in 2022.