According to the Brazilian government, “Lula and Francisco spoke by phone. The president thanked the Pope for his work for peace in Ukraine and in the fight against poverty”. “In the conversation, Lula also thanked the Catholic Church in Brazil for its work to preserve the Amazon, against the forces that attack the jungle, and for the pope’s mentions of solidarity with Brazil in recent years,” the statement added.
In addition, it was Lula himself who confirmed the talk with the Vatican reference: “I just spoke on the phone with Pope Francis. I congratulated the Pope for his efforts in defending peace in Ukraine and the fight against poverty. I thanked the gestures in defense of democracy in our country in recent years. We are due to have an audience in the Vatican in the coming months and I have invited the Holy Father to visit Brazil“.
The Pope and Lula, the mediators of the war
The leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) seeks to relaunch Brazil’s foreign policy and relations with other countries after the mandate of Jair Bolsonaro. In this sense, and like Pope Francis, Lula seeks to officiate as a mediator to stop the hostility in Ukraine. in the wake of the war.
The Pope, from his place, prepares a peace plan that will include a mission with Vatican negotiatorswhich for the moment are not defined by the Holy See.
On May 13, the Ukrainian President, Volodimir Zelensky, asked Pope Francis on Saturday to back the kyiv peace plan, and the Holy Father indicated that the Vatican would assist in the repatriation of the Ukrainian children taken to Russia. Earlier on Saturday, Zelensky met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who pledged full military and financial support to Ukraine and reiterated her support for its EU membership bid.
Zelensky, who was visiting Rome for the first time since the start of the war, spoke to the Supreme Pontiff for 40 minutes and gave him a bulletproof vest that had been worn by a Ukrainian soldier and later painted with an image of the Virgin. According to a Vatican statement, in their private conversations, Zelensky and the pope spoke of “humanitarian gestures,” which a Vatican source said was a reference to the Vatican’s willingness to assist in the repatriation of Ukrainian children.