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Ukrainians to Cardinal Zuppi: “The war in Ukraine is a genocide of our people; Russia seeks to annihilate us not only with bombs but also with starvation”

January 5, 2024, 14:51 41

50 young Ukrainians met with Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference and Archbishop of Bologna, at his residence in Bologna to testify to the horrors and drama of war, Dyvensvit informs.

Ukrainians to Cardinal Zuppi: “The war in Ukraine is a genocide of our people; Russia seeks to annihilate us not only with bombs but also with starvation”

Addressing Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Deputy Chairman of the UGCC Commission on Youth Affairs, Fr. Roman Demush, emphasized:

“Our youth are not museum exhibits brought to Europe for observation. Our youth are witnesses of truth and goodness, witnesses of life among the tragedies of deaths, and witnesses of values for which they are ready to give their lives. After all, values are not something flexible, because life can only be given for the truth. Our Ukrainian youth embody this truth in life and sometimes in death. We came here so that we would not be forgotten. We have come here to remind Europe that the Ukrainian people are a living shield between good and evil, life and death, and are standing in defense of the peace of Europe. Your Excellency, rather than reading newspapers and watching the news, you have the opportunity to listen firsthand from living witnesses of the war in Ukraine, a bloody war waged by Russia.”

“The war in Ukraine is a genocide of our people. Russia wants to annihilate us not only with bombs but also with starvation,” Ukrainian youth presented ears of Ukrainian wheat to Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

Father Roman Demush added: “Russia is bombing our territories, our fields with grain, bombing our homes and our schools, bombing hospitals and churches… Russia wants to destroy us. But we believe that the Ukrainian people, like a grain of wheat, will bear fruit a hundredfold!”

In his address to the Ukrainian youth, the archbishop said:

“What you have described today, what you have shared with us, goes straight to the core. You have revealed to us how much death there is in Ukraine and how big the presence of Herod is in Ukraine. Yet you also spoke about the power of life, hope, and faith—the power of knowing that love will never be defeated.

Today, we also understand the greatness of God, who comes not to where everything is good but to confront the darkness. I know how difficult it is to articulate what we have experienced and put this enormous pain into words. But you have helped us to grasp the depth of what Ukraine is going through. Pope Francis says: ‘your pain is our pain, your tears are our tears.’ This statement strengthens our belief in the light even more. Herod is strong, but hope in God is stronger. This is something that has profoundly moved me.

There are two actors in war: the perpetrator and the victim. But there must be a third party capable of contributing to peace who will find the strength to say enough is enough! And help find a way to peace.

You have presented me with wheat, which requires a considerable effort to grow, though it is a sign of life. We hope that the sacrifice of many will yield the fruits of peace. Countless lives were given so that Ukraine could live.

The holiday of Nativity brings us the wonderful news of the birth of life. God, who says: ‘I will not leave you alone,’ gives us hope. It is also light amidst the darkness. It is a good Christmas because there is much light. We are confident that the Lord will win!”

The UGCC Department for Information

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