On November 7, His Holiness Pope Francis received in the audience His Eminence Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine. According to the Apostolic Nunciature in Ukraine, the Pope wanted to get acquainted with the situation in our country and was informed in detail about the executive stage of the Pope for Ukraine Initiative.
Pope Francis has reminded that Ukraine holds a special place in his heart and that he prays daily for recovery of peace, comfort for the neediest and the country’s progress.
At a time when little is being said about the dramatic situation in Ukraine, the Pontiff stated that his gesture of actual support for victims of war, which had by the moment raised more than EUR 10 million, was primarily intended to be a sign of Christian love, but also intended that those affected did not feel abandoned or forgotten and that the international community did not forget that it should make every effort to achieve peace in justice and solidarity.
As reported, on April 3, 2016, Pope Francis announced the collection of donations for the victims of war in Ukraine, which was held on April 24 throughout the Catholic churches of Europe. In addition, the Holy Father has made a significant personal donation. The collected donations are intended exclusively for people affected by war, without discrimination by faith, denomination or ethnicity. The Pope decided to establish “in loco” a relevant technical committee consisting of a chairman and four members to control the funds allocation. Pope Francis appointed to the office of the Committee Chairman His Grace Bishop Jan Sobilo, Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine.
The first stage of submitting applications for large and small grants as part of the Pope for Ukraine Initiative from religious and community organizations that provide direct assistance to immigrants from ATO zone was held from September 8 to October 31, 2016. Currently, the Technical Committee of the Pope for Ukraine Initiative are considering the submitted projects and determining the recipients of the Vatican’s funds under the previously voiced criteria to provide direct assistance to the most vulnerable population categories. The priorities are food, clothing, medicine and shelter for the poorest people who lost everything because of military action.
Since this is a personal initiative of Pope Francis, the final responsibility for it rests with the State Secretariat of the Vatican and the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” via the Apostolic Nunciature in Ukraine.