Rinkevics in Vatican urges support for Ukraine

  • 2024-05-16
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Ukraine must be provided all support it needs to defend itself against the aggressor and defeat it, President Edgars Rinkevics said on Thursday during a visit to the Vatican where he met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See.

During the visit, Rinkevics also had an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, as the president's advisor Martins Dregeris told LETA.

During Rinkevics' meeting with Parolin, discussed were bilateral relations, including cooperation between Latvia and the Catholic Church, as well as regional security and support for Ukraine.

Rinkevics underlined the sound relations between Latvia and the Holy See and a regular dialog between senior officials of Latvia and the Holy See. He also confirmed Latvia's support for Ukraine and called for support for the Ukrainian peace initiative.

Rinkevics called on the Holy See to actively engage in the return of Ukrainian children abducted by Russia from the territories of Ukraine temporarily occupied by Russia and Belarus.

During Rinkevics' visit, a film about the Venerable Bishop Boleslavs Sloskans was screened at the Holy See in the presence of Holy See officials.

In 2004, Pope John Paul II issued a decree recognizing the heroic virtues of Bishop Sloskans, so that he could be called Venerable.

Recognition of the heroic virtues means that the Holy See values the excellence of Bishop Sloskans' life and considers it worthy of imitation. This is the first step on the way to the official canonization of Bishop Sloskans.

Sloskans was born in 1893 in Stirniene. He was ordained priest in St. Petersburg in 1917.

In 1927 he was falsely accused of spying, kept in confinement and cruelly tortured in Soviet prisons until 1933, when he was exchanged for a Soviet spy and could return to Latvia. During World War II he was taken to Germany, after the war Sloskans was freed and moved to Belgium, where he helped exile lay students to get education. Bishop Sloskans died in Leuven in 1981 and was reburied in the crypt of Aglona Basilica in 1993.