Cardinal Dolan urges U.S. Catholics to respond to the pleas of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic bishops
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has urged U.S. Catholics to listen to the “chilling” pleas of Greek Catholic bishops who say Ukraine is “flowing with blood” due to the Russian military’s actions, CNA informs.
During the Cold War, Cardinal Dolan said, “Catholics in the United States were in solidarity with persecuted Christians in Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, Lithuania, Hungary, and the other countries under Russia’s jackboot. We spoke up for them; our government listened.”
“We had hoped it would now be different. Things looked so bright in Ukraine for awhile. It appeared that religion was free, the Church encouraging a just, open, civil society,” the New York archbishop said in a Sept. 15 blog post.
“Apparently, a prosperous, free, independent Ukraine, with freedom of religion leading to a revived faith, is a threat to a neighbor with a history of interference. The jackboots have apparently come out of storage.”
Cardinal Dolan praised the Catholic Church in Ukraine as “young, alive, growing and prophetic” despite the Church being “viciously persecuted” under Stalin and the Soviet Union.
He said Ukraine’s leading bishop, Greek Catholic Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev, is a “confessor of the faith” and a leader bringing peace and hope to “a country threatened by thugs and thieves within, and an aggressor on the border.”
The bishops said “we … raise our voice on behalf of the people of Ukraine and call out to the people of the world: ‘Ukraine is flowing with blood!’”
“This peaceful sovereign nation has been subjected to a direct military intervention by a northern neighbor. Hundreds of units of heavy weaponry and technology, thousands of armed mercenaries and soldiers of Russia’s standing army are crossing the borders of Ukraine, sowing death and destruction, in disregard for the terms of the ceasefire and recent diplomatic efforts.
“At the same time, propaganda continues at an unprecedented level of hatred and distortion of the real state of affairs, which is no less damaging than weapons of mass destruction.”
The bishops’ letter charged that Russia-supporting forces have committed “crimes against humanity,” including the downing of the plane.
Cardinal Dolan said Sept. 15 that Archbishop Sviatoslav urged him to “just keep getting the truth out!”
“Please don’t let us down!” the archbishop told the cardinal.