Vatican Ambassador Claudio Gugerotti visits Lugansk. Photo © LuganskInformCenter
The Vatican Ambassador, Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine His Eminence Claudio Gugerotti lead a church service in a Roman-Catholic parish in Lugansk, LuganskInformCenter reporter informs.
The Apostolic Nuncio congratulated Lugansk Roman- and Greek-Catholics with the approaching Christmas.
“The Pope sent me here to say the following: ‘Tell them that I am with them, say this loudly. Tell them that I don’t forget about them, that I pray each day for this war to be over,” he stated.
Claudio Gugerotti emphasized that he had no difficulty visiting LPR and, earlier, DPR.
“The main and primary goal of this visit is to affirm the affinity and love of the Pope towards all the people who live here, especially Catholics, on the Christmas Eve,” the Vatican Ambassador explained to the journalists.
The diplomat informed that he intends to meet the representatives of Lugansk eparchy of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) today, but has “no other meetings planned”.
In the end of the service the congregants thanked the Ambassador for his visit and gave him two gifts: a souvenir lighter in the form of a musket, and a rushnyk (ritual cloth) with doves of peace depicted on it, “as a representation of the current attributes of Lugansk region”.
“My impressions (of Donbass – LuganskInformCenter) are that there are actually difficulties here, because where’s war, there’s no normal life, and any efforts that the governments make are not enough until actual peace will come,” Gugerotti noted.
He also commented on the possibility of Pope’s visit to Donbass.
“You know that everything is in the hands of God. He (the Pope – LuganskInformCenter) always wanted to be present where there’s hardships and patience. The desire and goal of the Pope is to unite the people who are in discord, to help them find understanding,” the Ambassador explained.
“Which is why, when it will be calm and the ‘time of brotherhood’, the Pope will certainly find the possibility to come here and pay a visit to the people, but this requires an invitation of all sides,” the representative of Vatican added.