Pope Francis says Vatican is involved in secret Ukraine peace mission

 VATICAN CITY – The Vatican is part of a secret peace mission to end the war in Ukraine, Pope Francis told reporters on his flight back to Rome on Sunday. 

 “The mission is underway, but it has not yet been made public. When it is public, I will reveal it.”

 The pope made these remarks to journalists on board the papal flight back to Rome following his three-day pastoral visit to Hungary. 

 During the trip, the pope met with Metropolitan Hilarion, a pro-Kremlin representative from the Russian Orthodox Church. The meeting, described as “cordial” by the Vatican, lasted 20 minutes. 

 When asked whether the meeting could lead to peace, the pope responded, “In this meeting,” the pope told journalists, “We did not just talk about Little Red Riding Hood. We talked about all these things. We talked about this because everyone is interested in the road to peace.”

 “I believe that peace is always made by opening up channels, peace can never be made through closure.”

 “I am willing to do whatever needs to be done,” the pope concluded, “I invite everyone to open up relationships and channels of friendship.”