By Rosa Die Alcolea

Since its inception four years ago, the “Pope for Ukraine” Project has allocated 15 million euros and helped one million people, Vatican News reported on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in its Spanish edition.

With the “Pope for Ukraine” initiative, which began in 2016, Pope Francis wished to express his profound affection and solidarity with all Ukrainians, regardless of their religion, Confession, or ethnic group, and with those suffering from the prolonged dramatic consequences of the war.

For years the Holy Father has multiplied his appeals in favor of the displaced populations of Eastern Ukraine, and shown gestures of solidarity with the areas affected by the war, particularly through the establishment, in 2016, of the “Pope for Ukraine” Fund, supervised personally by the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

In an interview with “Vatican News,” Auxiliary Bishop Eduard Kava of Leopolis gave details of what this means for his diocese. “We have available heating, medicines, clothes and food, hygiene tools, and psycho-social support. Projects that have been completed and now the work remains of supplying the machinery for a hospital dedicated to children.”

At the Service of the Poor

Over the last years, this humanitarian aid, entrusted to the supervision of the Department of the Service for Integral Human Development, has been carried out on the ground, with the constant collaboration of the Apostolic Nunciature, by a Technical Secretariat with headquarters in Kiev, indicated the Polish Prelate. Working in tune next to it are charitable organizations of the Church, but also of other Christian denominations and international organizations with the same focus.

Monsignor Kava said it is “a beautiful sign of ecumenism,” and he pointed out that it is a work carried out truly “in unity, at the service of the poor, of children with difficulties linked to the tensions of war, of numerous families, of the elderly who have lost everything and who live with very low pensions,” reported Vatican News.

Pope’s Closeness to Ukraine

Among the Pontiff’s numerous appeals for Ukraine, the most recent took place last Sunday, July 26, at the end of the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square, when he called for a cease-fire in the border areas with the separatist region of Donbas.

Another instance of the Pope’s closeness to the Ukrainian people and the Church in the country was the visit of the Apostolic Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski to Ukraine on July 17-18, 2020, at the invitation of the Catholic Archbishop of Lviv, Mieczyslav Mokshitsky.

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