“I think the Ukrainian government and people are aware of the support that they have always had from the Church and Pope Francis in their suffering,” he added.
The cardinal explained that the Vatican is not seeking to act as the mediator of the peace process in Ukraine in an official capacity.
“No one has ever talked about mediation,” Zuppi said.
“It has always been a mission; the pope explained this at the outset and has repeated what his expectation of this mission is and said precisely that it was not and is not ‘mediation,’ but rather to help.”
Zuppi, the archbishop of Bologna and president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, has strong ties to the influential peace-building community Sant’Egidio.
Sant’Egidio is a Catholic lay association that has been involved in peace negotiations in many countries, including Mozambique, South Sudan, Congo, Burundi, and the Central African Republic.
Speaking on the sidelines of a Sant’Egidio conference in Berlin on Monday, Zuppi said that “clearly China is one of perhaps the most important factors” in achieving peace in Ukraine.
Zuppi told Italian television station TV2000: “We need the commitment of everyone, especially those with greater importance such as China. Peace requires the effort of everyone; it is never something that can be imposed by anyone.”
“The paths of peace are sometimes unpredictable; they need everyone’s commitment. We need a great alliance for peace and [to] push everyone in the same direction,” the cardinal said.