Pope Francis’ Representative in Ukraine Shot at While Delivering Aid

The incident happened while the Polish-born cardinal, who was not hurt, was bringing food and other supplies to people on the front lines.

(photo: lvivadm via Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0). / CC BY 3.0)

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, Pope Francis’ representative in Ukraine, was shot at Saturday as he delivered humanitarian aid near the city of Zaporizhzhia, Vatican News reported.

The report said Cardinal Krajewski was not hurt.

The incident happened while the Polish-born cardinal was bringing food and other supplies to people stuck in a “no-man’s land” on the front lines.

Cardinal Krajewski and his companions came under small arm’s fire and sought cover. “For the first time in my life,” he told Vatican News afterward, “I didn’t know where to run … because it’s not enough to run. You have to know where to go.”

Zaporizhzhia is a city in southeastern Ukraine, on the banks of the Dnieper River. Its nuclear power plant, which has been described as the largest in Europe, was offline for nearly a week as a precaution, given the heavy fighting in the area. It is now back in operation, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Pope Francis announced Sept. 11 that Cardinal Krajewski, prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Charity, would be returning to Ukraine to “give concrete witness of the closeness of the Pope and the Church.” This is his fourth trip there as papal almoner since the Russian invasion began on Feb. 24.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Reuters Friday that it was too soon to tell if Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the northeast part of the country will mark a turning point in the nearly-seven-month-long war.