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“Through you, I wish to express my closeness to long-suffering Ukraine,” — Pope Francis in a letter to the Head of the UGCC

January 10, 2024, 13:17 23

In his letter sent to His Beatitude Sviatoslav following the Russian Federation’s massive attacks on Ukraine, on December 29, 2023, and January 2, 2024, Pope Francis called Russia’s actions “unworthy and unacceptable” and emphasized that such actions “cannot be justified in any way.”

“Through you, I wish to express my closeness to long-suffering Ukraine,” — Pope Francis in a letter to the Head of the UGCC
Meeting of His Beatitude Sviatoslav with Pope Francis in the Vatican, November 7, 2022

“Once again, through your person, I would like to express my closeness to “longsuffering Ukraine,” to mourn the dead and entrust them to God’s mercy, to comfort the wounded and embrace those who are suffering in any way. I am close to the pastors of souls who are trying to give hope to people in a “situation that seems increasingly hopeless,” said Pope Francis in his response to His Beatitude Sviatoslav’s letter dated December 29 of last year, in which the Head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) informed His Holiness the Pope of the tragic consequences of the largest-to-date Russian missile attack throughout Ukraine.

The Pope expressed his gratitude to the Head of the UGCC for the information: “I share with you the same feelings of contempt and pain that you feel before military operations which, having affected the civilian population and the civil infrastructure of the entire country, are unworthy and unacceptable and cannot be justified in any way.”

Pope Francis considers it extremely dangerous that “against the background of dramatic international events, there is a risk that the war in Ukraine could become a ‘forgotten’ war.” Therefore, “our duty is to do everything to ensure that this war is not shrouded in silence — not merely to demonstrate outrage at these tragic events, but above all to force all those responsible and the international community to find peaceful decisions,” the Holy Father emphasized.

In his letter, Pope Francis recalled that he is using every opportunity to ensure that the war in Ukraine does not become “forgotten.” “In today’s general audience, I asked that the nations where there is war not be forgotten, recalling that ‘war is madness, war is always a loss. Let us pray. Let’s pray for people in Palestine, Israel, Ukraine, and many other places where the war continues.’ I also repeated it on January 1, on the World Day of Peace, and I will continue to do so, speaking out loudly until the roar of weapons in Ukraine subsides and the path to a just peace begins.”

Secretariat in Rome of the Head of the UGCC

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