The war in Ukraine offers the world a choice

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Catholic leader: The war in Ukraine offers the world a choice.

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk records a video message on March 28, 2022. / Screenshot from the YouTube channel of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

Kyiv, Ukraine, March 28, 2022 / 12:20 p.m. (CNA).

The head of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church said on Monday that the war in his homeland presented the world with a stark choice.

In one video message released on March 28, Major Archbishop Svyatoslav Shevchuk said politicians and religious leaders must make their position on the conflict clear.

“Ukraine today is a symbol, a sign, a call that every inhabitant of the globe must choose which side to stand on,” he said. noted.

“All who respect human life, all who feel that every person’s life is sacred and who respect God’s command ‘Thou shalt not kill’ must stand with Ukraine today.”

He continued, “Anyone who keeps God’s command ‘Thou shalt not steal’ but sees the Russian occupier looting today, robbing the common people, taking away the last and dooming people to starvation, must side with Ukraine.”

“Anyone who respects God’s command ‘Do not covet your neighbour’s wife’ but sees how this occupier humiliates and rapes Ukrainian women in front of their children cannot be neutral, but must side with Ukraine.”

Addressing “politicians, parliamentarians, religious figures, public opinion leaders and all people of good will,” Shevchuk said: “Make your choice. Stand with the innocent victims of the unjust aggression of someone who has planned to dictate his new rules not only to Ukraine but to the whole world and threatens to start a third world war.

In his daily life video message On Sunday, the 51-year-old major archbishop lamented the missile strikes on the city of Lviv in western Ukraine on March 26, which coincided with US President Joe Biden’s visit to Poland.

“You can say that yesterday was characterized by missile terrorism throughout Ukraine,” Shevchuk said. noted. “And, in fact, every time a rocket hits a peaceful town, it feels like another nail is driven into the body of Ukraine. We are crucified.

He also thanked the Mayor of London for his participation in a Rallye in support of the Ukrainian people in the English capital.

In his March 26 message, he reminded Pope Francis act of consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

He said the event “will probably go down in history as the day of pan-Ukrainian and universal union”.

“We have been called to this prayer by the Holy Father, Roman Pontiff, who is the symbol and servant of the universal unity of the Church of Christ,” he added. noted.

“With him we were united in prayer and in the act of a special consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary. In this prayer we experienced the union .

He said the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church joined in the act of consecration from Zarvanytsia, a village in western Ukraine that is home to a miraculous icon of the Mother of God.

“A special moment of the unity of our Church before the prayer of consecration was the extraordinary session of the Synod of Ukrainian Bishops,” he said. “We have come together to coordinate our actions, to determine how best to serve our people, our defenders, our country together.”

“We listened to each other, we tried to understand the most urgent needs. Our Church is with its people, in prayer, in work, in tireless social service to all who need it today.

In his message on the day of the consecration, Shevchuk reflects on the meaning of the call to pray for the conversion of Russia, associated with Our Lady of Fatima.

“Every bishop of the universal Church will perform this act,” he said. noted. “What does that mean? It means that it is never possible to reach an agreement, to cooperate with this evil that is emerging from Russia today. And that is why we must pray for its conversion, for the eradication of this evil, “so that it”, as the Mother of God of Fatima said, “does not destroy other States, does not cause yet another world war”. as Christians we have a duty to pray for our enemies.

He continued: “We will consecrate Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, because today we are in great need of the victory of good. It is she who, with her “yes” to God crushed the head of this eternal serpent, is with us today.

“May the Protections of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and all the shining angels, under the guidance of the Archangel Michael, be victorious in this spiritual battle. And Ukraine, dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is already winning and will continue in this fight.

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