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Pope’s rep in Ukraine: Faith can move mountains, and stop a “stupid war”

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NurPhoto via AFP

Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) Sviatoslav Shevchuk (C) and Almoner of His Holiness, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, Pope Francis's envoy to Ukraine, (R) partake in an ecumenical prayer for ending the war and restoring peace in Ukraine at the Archcathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Latin Cathedral), Lviv, western Ukraine. on March 10, 2022.

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 03/11/22

Cardinal Krajewski is headed farther into Ukraine to bring the Pope's closeness.

On a mission to Ukraine in order to communicate the Pope’s closeness and concern, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski says that while he is not a diplomat, he goes forward armed with the “three most sophisticated weapons of the Gospel”: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.

Prayer, he assured, can “be frightening for those who attack Ukraine.” He said that he was leaving Lviv, the largest city in Western Ukraine, and headed “inside the country.”

On Thursday, the cardinal presided at an interfaith prayer service for peace in the Cathedral of Lviv, alongside the two Catholic archbishops of Ukraine.

Orthodox bishops were also present, including those who recognize the sovereignty of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

Speaking after the prayer service, Cardinal Krajewski said, “A divided Church is a scandal.”

“Today we were all united, everyone prayed together and asked God for peace, according to the Gospel.”

Describing the choral prayer as rising “like the smoke of incense,” the Cardinal said “this is our strength” and he expressed his wish to “pass on this power and strength to the Ukrainian people.”

“Through faith, we can move mountains. I believe in that. Even more so to stop a stupid war.”

“Through faith, we can move mountains. I believe in that. Even more so to stop a stupid war,” he said.

The Pope’s envoy has visited the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing of Rawa Ruska-Hrebenne, where he met with volunteers who are helping refugees waiting to cross the border.

He has also prayed with the refugees at the Parish of St. John Paul II in Lviv and had dinner with them.

Anything for love

When it comes to serving the needy, Cardinal Krajewski, who as papal almoner oversees the Pope’s charity work, is not one to let many obstacles get in the way.

Back in 2017, it was reported that the Polish archbishop had given up his Vatican apartment for refugee families fleeing war torn areas, and for several months was sleeping in his office.

He has also been responsible for the installation of showers, a barbershop and a laundromat near the Vatican, as well as other initiatives on behalf of the poor, including a new dormitory.

In 2019, he took matters into his own hands when electricity was cut off to an abandoned building, leaving the homeless who were occupying the building without light. The Polish prelate climbed down a manhole to restore the electricity.

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