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Bishop Zaidan Calls for Peace and Humanitarian Aid as War-Torn Ukraine Marks Two Years Since Russian Invasion
Posted on 02/23/2024 09:30 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON - As Russia’s war against Ukraine enters its third year, the need for humanitarian assistance has greatly increased to help the millions of Ukrainians impacted by violence and destruction. People are struggling to survive in the cold winter with little food, heat, or shelter, said Bishop A. Elias Zaidan of the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon. As chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, he urged the U.S. government to provide more aid immediately to alleviate the suffering of Ukrainians. Bishop Zaidan also expressed concern at Russia’s targeting of religious communities in Ukraine, destroying churches, arresting religious leaders, some of whom have been tortured and killed.
“The magnitude of the suffering in the Ukrainian conflict continues to sear the conscience of the faithful. According to a UN report, the number of civilians killed and injured since February 2022 exceeds 30,000. Schools, hospitals, apartments, and basic infrastructure supplying power have been hit by missiles. In the face of such destruction and death, people are repeatedly displaced, insecure as to where to find safety.
“The Catholic Church, including many Catholic welfare organizations are trying to meet these enormous needs both within Ukraine and in other countries impacted by this war which has raged on for two full years. The USCCB’s national collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe has been critical in providing much-needed aid to the region. Additionally, Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative has greatly heightened global food security concerns, increasing food prices, and jeopardizing the health and lives of poor and vulnerable people dependent on food assistance for survival. I urge the U.S. government to do all that it can to provide much needed humanitarian assistance quickly.
“At the same time, there are reports of religious communities, particularly the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, being attacked by Russian forces in territories they have seized. Over 600 religious structures have been damaged, some occupied by Russian forces and turned into military bases. Clergy have been harassed, persecuted, kidnapped, and even killed.
“On January 8, Pope Francis spoke about Ukraine saying we cannot allow the persistence of a conflict that continues to metastasize to the detriment of millions of persons. He also underscored that it is necessary to put an end to the present tragedy through negotiations, in respect for international law. I join with our Holy Father in calling for an end to the violence in Ukraine and call on all the faithful and people of good will to join with the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, in setting aside February 24 as a solemn day of prayer, fasting for the end of the war and for peace to come to this war-torn land.”
Posted on 02/23/2024 09:08 AM ()
The Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych urges Catholics in Europe and around the world not to forget the ongoing suffering of the people of Ukraine, while expressing gratitude for the support and solidarity offered so far. The Head of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine speaks to Vatican media about the longing for peace of the Ukrainian people after two years of war, and the Church’s efforts to offer material and pastoral support to them.
Posted on 02/23/2024 08:31 AM ()
Pope Francis says he is praying for victims and all those affected by a blaze in two residential towers in the eastern city of Valencia, where four people are confirmed dead and many others are still missing.
Posted on 02/23/2024 08:29 AM ()
The Israeli Prime Minister has revealed his post-war strategy for Gaza, the first since the Israel-Hamas conflict erupted in October last year.
Posted on 02/23/2024 07:21 AM ()
Canada, Benin, France and Jamaica have offered support to a U.N.-backed international security force aimed at tackling rampant gang violence in Haiti. The initiative follows a meeting in Brazil co-hosted by the United States.
Posted on 02/23/2024 07:00 AM (Catholic Online > Saint of the Day)
Posted on 02/23/2024 05:44 AM ()
Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher of the Papal Household, delivers his first Lenten homily to the Roman Curia.
Posted on 02/23/2024 03:56 AM ()
As Russia’s war in Ukraine enters its third year, Patrick Kelly, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, praises the heroism of the Ukrainian people and details the humanitarian assistance his organization continues to provide to refugees and people in need.
Posted on 02/23/2024 03:20 AM ()
This Lent, readers can 'experience' in a new way the Gospels through Andrea Tornielli's latest book 'The Life of Jesus,' featuring Pope Francis' introduction, which was presented in a Loyola Press - organized Lenten webinar with the author and Sr. Bernadette Reis.
Posted on 02/23/2024 01:00 AM ()
Pope Francis has never tired of lifting his prayers and launching appeals for peace in Ukraine over the past two years as the nation is trapped in the "madness" of war.