War and Peace: While Putin and Kim talk guns, Cardinal Zuppi works to end the conflict

On the one hand, the leader of North Korea meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome.in the easternmost part of the Federation. They talk about space launches, weapons, and a “holy war” against the West. and they show each other the strengths of their arsenals, forming an alliance that worries their neighbors and the West.

On the other hand, Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi is in Beijing to talk about peace in Ukraine.. “A just world”, “a world decided by Ukrainians”, as the Roman cardinal once again repeated. And there is hope that a new spark will come from dialogue with China’s Eurasian Affairs envoy Li Hui, after Moscow and Kyiv made it clear they have no intention of talking. At least for now.

Thus, the two images that came from the East are diametrically opposed.. Isolation and mediation, weapons for war in Ukraine and the peaceful paths of the Holy See, the “holy war” that Kim speaks of and the “just peace” that Zuppi speaks of. And all this is happening simultaneously and precisely in two countries that have formed ever stronger ties since the beginning of the invasion: China and Russia. There is no shortage of symbols between those who rely on the sky to launch satellites and rockets, and those who look to a different type of sky, with a capital S.. Once again, hope rests on the opportunity to listen to the papal mission, which has received great support, but also several obstacles along the way. This time, in addition to the diplomatic difficulties between two governments at war and two forces opposing each other in an existential conflict, there is also the problem of bilateral relations between the Holy See and the People’s Republic.

There is no formal official relationship between the two interlocutors.. It all follows the track of parallel diplomacy, consisting of meetings, clashes over the freedom of the Church, attempts at dialogue, agreements aimed at protecting the Chinese Catholic community, messages between pontiffs and party leaders (most recently Francis, when he flew over Chinese territory to get to Mongolia). And the Holy See is also one of the few countries in the international community to recognize Taiwan as a state, which is in complete contradiction to the “one China” doctrine conceived by Richard Nixon together with Henry Kissinger and to which, very flexibly, the United States and the entire West have joined. Given these premises, it seems clear that the meeting between Zuppi and Li Hui already begins with important gaps..

But already alone the Chinese government’s choice to welcome the Pope’s envoy by arranging a meeting with the most important man in the Communist Party On the conflict front in Ukraine, Li Hui is a signal that cannot be underestimated. Beijing has not closed its doors to the pontiff’s envoy, and this underlines how interested the People’s Republic is in Vatican diplomacy and its possible rapprochement with the diplomacy of the Middle Empire. Of course, everyone understands that interests can only be completely different. China hopes to mediate between the warring sides as a reaffirmation of its rise to global power and also as a demonstration of some diplomatic superiority over the United States and Europe. Moreover, its neutrality towards the Russian invasion rests on opposing grounds.regarding the neutrality of the Holy See that, as Archbishop Paul Gallagher said, it should not be confused with indifference and should not be seen, as Francis recently emphasized, as “ethical neutrality.”.

China has repeatedly avoided condemning the aggression and its relationship with Russia is one of strategic partnership, which also involves a challenge to the new world order. However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said important words: “As for Ukraine, China has always been committed to promoting peace negotiations. We stand ready to work with all parties and continue to play a constructive role in helping to de-escalate and cool the situation.”

How, between strategic interests, geopolitical balance, clash between superpowersWith disagreements over Taiwan, over the Patriotic Church, over the appointment of bishops and restrictions on religious freedom, Vatican diplomacy is trying to wedge itself into a single goal: finding a path of peace for a war that is devastating Ukraine and destabilizing the world. .

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