Cardinal Konrad Krajewski Visits Refugees on Polish Border
‘To Reach the People Who Are Suffering and Bring Them the Pope’s Closeness’
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski visits Ukrainian refugees
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski is visiting Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border.
The papal almoner arrived Sunday after Pope Francis named him to be his special envoy who brings “help to the needy.”
The Cardinal’s itinerary is uncertain but the Vatican has given him a clear objective: “To reach the people who are suffering and bring them the Pope’s closeness, to tell them that he loves them, and to pray with them because prayer can also stop the war.”
Cardinal Michael Czerny, interim prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, will arrive today in Hungary on a similar mission. The Pope announced the mission of the two Cardinals after praying the Angelus Sunday with the faithful in St. Peter’s Square.
The Cardinals will bring aid to the needy and serve as “the presence not only of the Pope but of all the Christian people who express solidarity with the people of Ukraine and say: ‘War is madness! Stop, please! Look at this cruelty!’ Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine. It is not merely a ‘military operation’, but a war, which sows death, destruction, and misery.”
Pope Francis declared, “The number of victims is increasing, as are the people fleeing, especially mothers and children. The need for humanitarian assistance in that troubled country is growing dramatically by the hour. I make a heartfelt appeal for humanitarian corridors to be genuinely secured, and for aid to be guaranteed and access facilitated to the besieged areas, in order to offer vital relief to our brothers and sisters oppressed by bombs and fear. I thank all those who are taking in refugees. Above all, I implore that the armed attacks cease and that negotiation – and common sense – prevail. And that international law be respected once again!”
Cardinal Krajewski spoke to Vatican News about his mission to Ukraine. The full transcript of which is below:
Q: Your Eminence, in a few hours you will be on a mission to represent the Pope in wounded Ukraine. What are your feelings as you leave?
The Holy Father uses the logic of the Gospel and becomes close to those who are sick, who have been killed, who are displaced from their country. I’m leaving soon and I’m going to Poland because from Poland I’m sure I’ll be able to enter Ukraine.
Then we’ll see how far we can go to reach these people and show them the Pope’s closeness, to say that he loves them, that he prays for them, that he wants to encourage them. I am also leaving to deliver the Holy Father’s Rosaries because with prayer we can move mountains and also stop the war.
Q: To whom will you mainly deliver the aid?
I don’t know… There is a state of war, so I don’t know who I will be able to reach. As we are seeing from one hour to the next, everything changes, everything moves.
Certainly, I will try to meet as many people as possible to bring the Holy Father’s blessing. And I also want to be close to the volunteers, to those who help the refugees at the border. Already 800,000 have entered Poland.
Q: Will you go from Poland to Kyiv?
When I am at the border, we will see what possibilities there are. We know that the mayor of Kyiv has asked all the religious if they can come and be with them to pray and defend the city through prayer.
Q: A personal question: are you afraid?
No. As I said, I think of the Gospel. I want to use, like the Pope, the logic of the Gospel.
Statement by Apostolic Nunciature in Poland
The Apostolic Nunciature in Poland states that the visit of Card. Krajewski “expresses in a special way the care and closeness of the Holy Father Francis, who continues his passionate appeal for + real securing of humanitarian corridors and for guaranteeing and facilitating the access of aid to the besieged areas, in order to provide life-giving aid to our brothers and sisters oppressed by bombs and fear +.
“The Pope thanks + to all those who accept refugees. Above all, it calls for an end to armed attacks and asks that negotiations and common sense prevail and that respect for international law is restored!
We publish the full text of the communication:
The Apostolic Nunciature in Poland informs that the Holy Father Francis appointed Father Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Pope’s almoner, his special envoy to “help the needy” (Angelus Prayer, Vatican, March 6, 2022).
Cardinal Krajewski, who arrived in Poland on March 6, will spend the coming days in Ukraine and on the Polish-Ukrainian border, visiting centers for war refugees.
His visit expresses in a special way the care and closeness of the Holy Father Francis, who continues his passionate appeal for “the real securing of humanitarian corridors and for ensuring and facilitating the access of aid to the besieged areas, in order to provide life-giving aid to our brothers and sisters oppressed by bombs and fear” . The Pope thanks “everyone who accepts refugees. Above all, it calls for an end to armed attacks and asks that negotiations and common sense prevail and that respect for international law is restored! ” (Angelus Prayer, Vatican, March 6, 2022).