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Pope, Ukrainian Catholic leader appeal for peace

Catholic World News - February 19, 2014

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), the largest Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, appealed for peace amid clashes between police and anti-government protestors.

“In the name of God I condemn violence and disregard of human rights and the will of the people,” said Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, as quoted by the Religion Information Service of Ukraine.

“I would like to emphasize that the one who has the power, bears full responsibility for what is happening in the country,” he added. “I appeal to everyone to immediately stop the bloodshed! I call all the children of the Church to fasting, prayer and solidarity with victims. At this moment, when Ukraine is in danger of fratricide, let all bells in the UGCC churches ring.”

At the conclusion of his Wednesday general audience, Pope Francis also appealed for peace. “With a worried soul I have been following what is happening in Kiev in these days,” he said, as he called on “all parties to cease all violence and to seek harmony and peace in the country.”

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