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Vatican cardinal laments international silence on Ukraine

July 17, 2017

At the invitation of Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches has visited the nation to show the Vatican’s solidarity with the faithful.

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri prayed at the site of the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests, which led to the removal of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, as well as at the tomb of Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, who led the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from 2001 to 2011.

Blessing a new cathedral in Kharkiv, the nation’s second-largest city, Cardinal Sandri lamented international silence on the war in Donbass, in which pro-Russian separatists, with the aid of Russian troops, have battled Ukrainian forces.

Cardinal Sandri preached that “on both human and Christian levels, love for truth with which the apostles entrusted us prohibits us from accepting the silence which has fallen on the conflict in Ukraine and on the suffering which has befallen tens of thousands of people.”

The prelate prayed in two cities in eastern Ukraine that were taken over by separatists and subsequently retaken by Ukrainian forces. He also visited a Caritas center where children affected by the war are fed.

Cardinal Sandri’s weeklong trip concludes on July 17.


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  • Posted by: balderdash - Jul. 19, 2017 5:49 PM ET USA

    The cardinal did not visit the two dissident regions, claimed by Ukraine as its territory and containing a population of Christian people at odds with and besieged by their governmemt Or in other words invaded and occupied by 'russians'. Had he stated that as his intention, it might have been denied him by authorities in Kyiv, but it would have been welcomed by the suffering people of Donbass. A wonderful opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the meek, given over to please the pharisees.

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Jul. 18, 2017 5:18 AM ET USA

    It is indeed surprising the Vatican is so silent on this issue, as they pursue the war on global warming. The Pope and Major Archbishop were both bishops in Buenos Aires, Argentina before the Pope became the Pope and Sviatoslav became the major archbishop. You'd think personal friendship alone would impel him to speak out more, especially to the Patriarch of Moscow, a major supporter of Putin and the invasion. The Ukrainian government may be incompetent, but the people deserve freedom and peace.

  • Posted by: balderdash - Jul. 17, 2017 4:10 PM ET USA

    The internationmal community is neither inclined to tell Ukraine to 'stop the stupid', nor is it inclined to invade the place to remove 'the irritation' and restore its territorial intergrity. What's sad about Ukraine is 100 percent domestic despite claims of interference. The Kyiv government tried deflecting attention from what it calls 'reform' - more of the same old thievery 0 by declaring and foisting a war on eastern Ukraine.