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Ukrainian Catholic archbishop sees ‘disaster’ if Pope visits Moscow

July 19, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv, Ukraine has warned of “disaster” if Pope Francis fulfills his ambition to travel to Moscow before he visits Ukraine.

Archbishop Mokrzycki, the leader of Ukraine’s Latin-rite Catholics, reported a visit to Moscow would reinforce concerns that the Pontiff is taking a neutral attitude toward the conflict in Ukraine, rather than condemning Russian aggression. He said that “our faithful say that one must first turn to the victim, to the one who suffers, and only then to the one who caused it.”

The archbishop added that the nation’s larger Byzantine-Catholic community is particularly dismayed by the Pope’s attitude. Ukrainian Catholics have long complained that the Vatican neglects the concerns of Byzantine Catholics, because of a fear of offending the Russian Orthodox who claim ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Ukraine.

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