Returning from his just-concluded trip to Canada, Francis told journalists on Saturday that in addition to Kazakhstan, he also hoped to visit Ukraine but that nothing had yet been confirmed. Vatican officials say they hoped to organize a trip even in the coming weeks.
On Sunday, Francis again prayed for Ukraine, saying he had never stopped praying for “the attacked, martyred Ukrainian people,” during his Canadian pilgrimage.
“If you look at reality objectively, considering the damage that war brings every day to those people but also the entire world, the only reasonable thing to do is to stop and negotiate,” he said. “May wisdom inspire concrete steps of peace."
Francis has criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Kirill's support for the war, telling an Italian newspaper in May that the patriarch shouldn't become "Putin’s altar boy.”
The Russian Patriarchate shot back that it was regrettable” that Francis “chose the wrong tone” to relay the contents of their March video call.
Francis, whose mobility has been limited because of strained knee ligaments, said he thought the Kazakhstan trip would be fairly “tranquil, without too much moving around” since it was purely to attend a religious congress.
A trip to Ukraine would be far more complicated and would presumably require he take the train in from Poland.
“I’ve said I want to go to Ukraine. Let’s see what I find when I get home,” he said.