On December 13, 2016, Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine His Eminence Claudio Gugerotti met with students and professors of Dragomanov National Pedagogical University. During the two-hour lecture, the Vatican Ambassador answered the participants’ questions and told about the Vatican diplomacy, and Pope Francis’ assistance to Ukraine and Syria.
“The foundation of diplomacy of the Holy See lies in the reminding of the value of human life and protection of human rights, for the one who violates human rights, violates the right of God,” Archbishop Gugerotti stressed, while speaking of papal diplomacy.
“The Vatican has no economic impact. And this is the power of papal diplomacy: the Holy See is operating above the bases and values. That is, the Holy See reminds of that at the representative offices it is accredited with. The UN, OSCE … there are not just two representatives, but many. The Vatican speaks a lot about the foundations which are the ground of protection of human personality. It has a great moral value, being directed to the roots of human rights. And, actually, this is the evangelical base. Because Christianity has a special feature. In other religions, there is total isolation between God or gods and mankind, their god is in heaven or elsewhere, wherever he would like to, while mankind is here on earth. In Christianity there is one particular element: God became man. And, when becoming a man, he clad mankind with divine dignity, elevated it to its highest level. Because God himself in Jesus Christ became man, and this means that every human creature is extremely closely linked to the same Creator. So anyone who forcibly violates human rights, violates the right of God himself. Therefore, protecting the rights of people is absolute to Christianity. This is the foundation of papal diplomacy. Recalling all the times and everywhere about integral and indispensable importance of the dignity of human life, being present in those international and national bodies, – it means to remind that there can be no political, strategic, military or economic priorities or values that can be superior to the life of even one person. In this particular manner papal diplomacy is to build concrete bridges,” the representative of Pope Francis underscored.
When asked by participants about the activities of the Vatican in trouble spots (countries where the war is ongoing), particularly in Ukraine and Syria, Archbishop Gugerotti told about the Initiative “The Pope For Ukraine” and the assistance provided by the Holy See in areas of military conflicts.
“The Church is extensively involved in providing aid to the victims of war. As you know, the Pope launched for us the assistance initiative. To help the victims of the war he personally has allocated five million euros. Another large amount was raised in Catholic churches in Europe on April 24 – about seven or eight million. These funds were transferred to the responsible Committee led by Ukrainians. The Committee received requests about two hundred and fifty application projects in two categories. The first one includes projects up to twenty thousand euros, the second – up two hundred and fifty thousand euros.”
“You know Ukraine very well and understand how closely we must review these requests. Since, in fact, there are lots of people who have a lot of masks and change them depending on the interlocutor, while the goal of this fundraising and all activities is that the funds raised reached as many really needy people as possible. The Pope said very clearly that in distributing the aid, one’s religion, whether one is a believer or not, will have absolutely no weight. Secondly, these funds are intended for the most basic, primary care, food, medicine and restoration of destroyed homes. So this aid is designed to help Ukrainians, which reside both in the areas controlled by Ukrainian authorities and in the uncontrolled areas. I will leave to your imagination the difficulties we face to deliver this particular assistance,” the papal representative said.
Record performance and response of His Eminence listen on Radio Maria.
Text and photos – Tatyana Kalinichenko, especially for the action “Pope for Ukraine“