Russia puts humanity in danger

Russia is putting humanity in danger, the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, said on Tuesday.

“Today all of humanity has been placed in danger — that the powerful have a right to impose themselves on whomever they wish, with no regard for the rule of law,” he said.

“It is our natural right and sacred duty to defend our land and our people, our state and all that is dearest to us: family, language and culture, history and the spiritual world,” he said.

Shevchuk said Ukraine “is in danger again,” and said “the treacherous enemy” has broken the basic norms of international law, “stepped on Ukrainian soil, bringing with him death and destruction.”

“At this historic moment, the voice of our conscience calls us all as one to stand up for a free, united and independent Ukrainian State,” he continued.

“The history of the last century teaches us that all those who started world wars lost them, and the idolaters of war brought only destruction and decline to their own states and peoples.”

Archbishop Mokrzycki said the Catholic Church all across Ukraine was preparing for the possibility of a wave of Ukrainians being displaced from their homes, especially from the eastern area.

“We are ready to welcome people into our churches and provide them with food and water,” he said. “We have organised first aid courses for priests, religious and laity, so that in an emergency they can care for the wounded”.

Some eastern Ukrainians have already moved to the west, he said, and “we have already rented some empty houses that will provide accommodation for them”.

The archbishop added that the prayers and support of people around the world had profoundly moved him.

“We are most grateful to the entire universal Church, and especially to Pope Francis who has issued a worldwide appeal for prayer for Ukraine,” he said.

“I would like to repeat this appeal: Continue this prayer. Keep on praying, until the final peace comes”.

Meanwhile, Catholics in Poland are being asked to continue praying for peace but be prepared to welcome refugees from Eastern Ukraine.

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, president of the Polish bishops’ conference, has appealed to Poles to help the refugees.

People displaced from their homes are already arriving in the western part of Ukraine.

A representative of Catholic Relief Services said the US Catholic international aid organisation is also prepared to help.

The Polish archbishop made his appeal on the bishops’ conference website after news that Russian-allied separatists in Eastern Ukraine had increased artillery and mortar attacks.

Reports say a kindergarten was hit last Thursday while the children were in the building. According to reports, none of the children was injured, but three staff members were.

“Everyone has the right to live in peace and security. Everyone has the right to seek for themselves and their loved ones conditions that will ensure a safe life”.

He said Poland has been opening its doors to newcomers from Ukraine for some time. They “live among us, work with us, pray in Polish churches and study in Polish schools”.

Supporting Caritas Poland and their local parish Caritas agencies to help refugees is one way Poles can help.

Caritas is making plans to increase refugee support programmes “in case of further escalation of tension and military action”, Gadecki explained.


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News category: Palmerston, World.

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