Catholic World News

Report: prelate says Vatican does not recognize annexation of Crimea

February 13, 2015

The bishop entrusted with the pastoral care of Latin-rite Catholics in Crimea said that the Vatican does not recognize the Russian annexation of the region, according to a report published by the Religious Information Service of Ukraine.

“The Vatican does not officially recognize the annexation of Crimea,” Auxiliary Bishop Jacek Pyl of Odessa-Simferopol was quoted as saying.

“Some believers left Crimea and some new believers came,” he added. “Annexation of Crimea divided some families and brought confusion. The Church tries to overcome these divisions and unite people around Christ.”

Bishop Pyl said that he plans to invite a contemplative order to the region and requested prayers for the evangelization and conversion of Crimeans.


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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Feb. 15, 2015 10:38 AM ET USA

    Ukraine half a century old? Ukrainians existed as a people and Ukraine as a nation long before the US was ever thought of. Vladimir, who is considered the person who brought Christianity to the region, was not Russian, but Ukrainian. Russia developed around Moscow, while Ukraine developed around Kiev. However, over the centuries Ukraine's neighbors have had sticky fingers that always subjugated that nation. It's most recent independence came in 1991, but it was a nation and people far longer!

  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - Feb. 14, 2015 9:52 AM ET USA

    That would be assuming that Russia just grabbed Crimea, overlooking the role of the locals and completely disregarding expressions of that role such as the referendum that was held. Anyway, I must point out that the Church has been consistent in also condemning separatism elsewhere, such as in Spain (Pope Francis spoke against it). Still, no border on earth has the right to consider itself eternal, much less that of Ukraine which is barely half a century old.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Feb. 13, 2015 2:19 PM ET USA

    Yes, but isn't it part of Catholic social teaching that countries should not just go in and help themselves to parts of other countries?

  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - Feb. 13, 2015 10:22 AM ET USA

    I don't live in the region, and can't say whether it is the case that Catholics have been persecuted, but from a geopolitical point of view, it makes no sense to pick a fight with Russia; the Church is not bound to align itself with NATO and follow its propaganda, and should refrain from taking part in the conflict.