Concerned about recent developments in the Ukraine, after thanking the Holy Father for his address, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, made an appeal for peace in the nation on behalf of the Fathers of the Plenary Meeting of the Congregation. The following are excerpts from the Cardinal’s address.
With our thoughts and heart turned to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, starting with the Major Archbishop of the Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who wished to remain beside his people in these days, and embracing all the sons and daughters of that country, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics, Orthodox and members of the other confessions and religions, we, participants in the Plenary Meeting of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, are inspired by the words raised more than once by Pontiffs from Benedict xv up until you: “Will the civilised world, therefore, be reduced to a field of death? And will Europe, so glorious and flourishing, almost overwhelmed by a universal madness, rush to the abyss, to its true and authentic suicide?”.
In such a state of affairs, in the face of threats of renewed suffering and conflicts in the already tested Ukraine, moved by a duty of conscience and listening to the cry of humanity “no more war”, “we raise once again the call for peace, and renew a warm appeal to those who hold in their hands the destiny of the nations….reflect upon your most grave responsibility in front of God and all men! Upon your reflections will depend the peace and joy of innumerable families, the lives of thousands of young people, the very happiness of the peoples, which you have the absolute duty to secure. May the Lord inspire you in decisions which conform to His most holy will, and ensure that you, deserving the applause of the current age, will equally ensure that in future generations you will bear the name of peacemakers”.