Press Advisories

9. 6. 202213:23

Prime Minister Petro Fiala was received by Pope Francis in Vatican, they agreed on great support for the struggling Ukraine

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala was received by Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican on Thursday 9 June 2022. With the head of the Catholic Church, the Prime Minister discussed, among others, the situation in the Czech Republic and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka also attended the reception with the Pope. Prime Minister Fiala then held talks with the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Prime Minister Peter Fiala and his wife Jana were received by Pope Francis in his private library at the Apostolic Palace. The Czech Prime Minister praised the Pope's moral stance and support for human rights, freedom of religion and support for oppressed people, and presented the Pope with a shawl, which was sewn together by Czech and Ukrainian women to symbolise peace and friendly relations between nations. During the audience, they discussed, for example, the situation in the Czech Republic, the state of religion in the Czech Republic and private issues of faith.

"The main part of the conversation, however, was about the situation in Europe, the war in Ukraine, how the Czech Republic is coping with the influx of refugees and what the options are for resolving this conflict. As is well known, Pope Francis is very concerned about a peaceful solution to the situation in Ukraine. He expressed great support for the Ukrainian people and I am glad that we were able to discuss these matters,"  Prime Minister Petr Fiala stated after the audience with the head of the Catholic Church.

"I also stressed in front of Pope Francis the support that the Czech Republic provides, both in the humanitarian and military spheres, and this is simply a fact that is widely known. Pope Francis has indeed expressed great support for the just struggle of the Ukrainian people. I think it is important for all of us to think about the suffering of Ukrainians and to help them with all means we have," added the Prime Minister, who also extended an invitation to the Holy Father to visit the Czech Republic.

Prime Minister Fiala then met with the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. "We also talked very intensively about the situation in Ukraine and the consequences for Europe. However, we also discussed the topic of relations between the Vatican and the Czech Republic, because there is still a pending mutual treaty that has been in the pipeline for many years. Our government's goal is to bring this matter to a conclusion, which is why we have been talking about how to do this so that we can finally conclude the agreement," the Prime Minister said.

In Rome, Prime Minister Fiala also visited the Pontifical College of St. Jan Nepomucký, where he met with its management and debated with representatives of the compatriot community in Italy. The Pontifical College Nepomucenum serves as a seminary for Czech divines in Rome and the Czech Historical Institute in Rome is also based here.