Bishops of UGCC ask international community to stop bloodshed in Ukraine
Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine and Ukrainian settlements from South and North America, Australia and Europe who gathered at the Holy Synod in Lviv, September 10, appealed to the world community with the words: "Ukraine is bleeding!"
Please read the full text of the appeal of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Synod translated by Fr. Athanasius McVay.
We, the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church of Ukraine and of North and South America, Australia, and Europe, gathered together at the Holy Synod in Lviv, being aware of the responsibility entrusted to us by the community, raise our voice on behalf of the people of Ukraine and appeal to the people of the world: "Ukraine is flowing with blood!" This peaceful sovereign nation suffered a direct military intervention by a northern neighbour. Hundreds of heavy weapons and technology, thousands of armed mercenaries, and soldiers of the standing army are crossing the borders of Ukraine, sowing death and destruction, and this despite armistice talks and recent diplomatic efforts. At the same time, an unprecedented level of hatred and propaganda, distorting the real state of affairs, is taking place, and it is no less destructive than weapons of mass destruction.
The world has witnessed how, in recent months, on the territory of Ukraine the aggressor has committed crimes against humanity. The whole world shook at the criminal act of shooting-down a Malaysian plane, when 298 people from 10 different countries died. Thousands of people, including women and children, were ruthlessly killed, and many of them could not even be buried with dignity. During this war many injured people were simply forced to wait for death due to the inaccessibility of medical assistance. Thousands of people have been kidnapped and subjected to torture and humiliation, their human dignity having been publicly violated. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have been forced to flee their homes in fear of their lives and the danger of death. If these crimes are not immediately stopped, with the onset of the winter cold, the death toll will increase tenfold. Whoever kills people in Ukraine will not hesitate to turn their weapons to attack any country in the world tomorrow.
In the face of such serious crimes we cry out to the consciences of believers of all denominations and faiths, appealing to all people of good will, to heads of state, and members of the international community: "Stop the bloodshed in Ukraine!" Today silence, inaction, or reluctance to recognize the seriousness of the situation in our country will not simply make people dumb or indifferent witnesses and accomplices of sin and murder, which cries to heaven for justice as the Scripture says: "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground" (Genesis 4:10). How can we forget the words of Saint John Paul II in 1979, in the vicinity of the former concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, who said: "War is caused not only by those who wage it directly but also by those who do not do everything in their power to avoid it." We especially call upon those whom the Lord has given authority to fulfil their responsibilities and take the necessary decisions at the political level in order to restore peace and security in Europe. We call again upon all believers and people of good will for urgent prayers to end the war and restore lasting and comprehensive peace in Ukraine.
Convinced that God is with us in our sufferings and troubles, that He hears our common pleas and prayers, with the coordinated efforts of the international community, we will be able to stop the bloodshed, to defend human dignity, and restore life-giving peace.