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Ukrainian Catholic leader: Ukrainians ‘hurt’ by Pope’s description of war

February 26, 2015

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Emphasizing that Ukraine is not experiencing “a local conflict, but an external assault,” the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said at a press conference that he has told Pope Francis that his use of the term “fratricidal war … has hurt the sensibilities of the Ukrainians.”

At the same time, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said that Ukraine’s bishops “felt understood, welcomed, and encouraged” by the Pope during their recent ad limina visit and that they invited the Pope to visit Ukraine.

“I have asked the Holy Father and various bodies of the Roman Curia to launch an appeal for humanitarian aid on an international level,” he added. “We have managed to provide shelter to 40,000 people in our Ukrainian Caritas centers, but this is not enough: there are 140,000 children among the displaced and then there are the wounded. So in order to really save human lives we need solidarity on an international level.”


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  • Posted by: unum - Feb. 27, 2015 10:29 AM ET USA

    When will Christ's Church call on its "secret resource" to help those suffering from war and terror? That secret resource is the power of the laity that has become inactive as our bishops built corporate empires and redefined the role of the laity to "pray, pay, and obey". The Sermon on the Mount was not directed to diocesan or Vatican organizations Rather, it was intended for the people of God who should be working in concert with the clergy and religious. That is truly the Body of Christ.

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Feb. 26, 2015 8:49 PM ET USA

    This is all very sad. Pope Francis was the Ordinary of Buenos Aires for the Roman Church before he became Pope, while Archbishop Sviatoslav was the Ordinary for the Ukrainian Church in the same city before he became head of the UGCC, at the very same time. Pope Francis had extensive contact with the Ukrainian Catholic Church in his time. It is hard to believe he has become so deaf and blind to the severe injustice happening in Ukraine and to false accusations leveled at his Ukrainian flock!