EU Bishops to Russia: “Stop this madness of war”!
On Wednesday, 22 February 2023, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) releases a statement of its President, H. Em. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, marking the occasion of the first anniversary of the tragic ongoing Russian military aggression against Ukraine.
On behalf of the Bishops of the European Union, Card. Hollerich appeals once more to the aggressor to “immediately suspend the hostilities and withdraw its armed forces, in full respect of international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
“[Ukrainian] people – the statement reads – have the right to defend themselves from the brutal and unjustifiable military aggression in order to live a life in dignity, safety and freedom in their independent and sovereign country”.
The COMECE President also expresses appreciation for the tireless efforts of European decision-makers in providing humanitarian, financial, political, as well as adequate and proportionate military support to Ukraine, and encourages European leaders to “maintain their unity in solidarity with Ukraine during and also after the war, while not giving in to fatigue or indifference”.
Finally, the EU Bishops endorse the ongoing “European and international efforts in documenting war crimes in view of ensuring accountability for perpetrators”, while putting their hopes in “a renewed multilateral diplomatic effort which could be propelled by a Global Peace Summit”.
This statement follows a series of initiatives carried out by COMECE since the beginning of the war, including a heartfelt appeal for peace in Ukraine and the whole of Europe shared by the EU Bishops during their 2022 Autumn Plenary Assembly.