Pope Francis and Lula discuss Ukraine and possible trips

Pope Francis and Lula discuss Ukraine and possible trips

Thursday, June 1st 2023 – 10:22 UTC

Lula last met with Pope Francis in February, 2020

Pope Francis and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Wednesday discussed the situation in Ukraine during a telephone conversation in which the South American leader invited the Argentine priest to visit his country soon.

“Lula and Francis spoke on the phone. The president thanked the pope for his work for peace in Ukraine and in the fight against poverty,” the Brazilian government said in a statement.

“In the conversation, Lula also thanked the Catholic Church in Brazil for its work to preserve the Amazon, against the forces that attack the rainforest, and for the Pope’s mentions of solidarity with Brazil in recent years,” the document went on.

“Pope Francis accepted to examine the invitation and the possibility of a papal visit,” it added. This would be Francis’ second trip to Brazil after the one he made in July 2013, a few months after being elected to the throne of Peter, on the occasion of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

Lula also informed the Pope of his talks with other leaders in search of peace in Ukraine, and lamented “the escalation of the conflict in the region.” Lula, who recently insisted on his proposal for a group of nations, including Brazil, to mediate in a peaceful resolution of the war in Ukraine – wanted to express his gratitude to Pope Francis for working for peace in the “martyred” country.

The Brazilian President also thanked the Pope for the commitment shown by the Catholic Church in Brazil for the preservation of the Amazon in the face of the forces that attack the so-called “green lung” of the world.

An audience of Lula at the Vatican would also be planned for June or July of this year. Lula had been to the Vatican in March 2009 for an audition with then-Pope Benedict XVI and returned on Feb. 13, 2020. The audience lasted about an hour and focused on issues such as democracy, the environment, and inequality, an economy involving young people and the poor.

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