Roman Catholic Bishop of Crimea Calls Breaking Fraternal Bond Between Crimeans Unacceptable
Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Odesa-Simferopol, Bishop Jacek Pyl, February 26, called on all believers and non-believers “to refrain from extremism, and in these difficult times not to allow the fraternal bond between people living in the Crimea to break.” In response to the tense situation in Crimea, the bishop urged the faithful “not to stop praying for peace and called on those who can to fast voluntarily.”
“In our prayers we remember all Crimeans, regardless of religion, background, or political views. We pray that the people, who for decades lived in peace, do not lift hands against each other; we pray to prevent the bloodshed that occurred on Kyiv. I urge all believers and non-believers in the name of solidarity with the legacy of our parents who cared about the development of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to refrain from extremism, and in these difficult times not to allow the fraternal bond between people living in Crime to break,” reads his statement, which was circulated by CREDO.
The bishop noted that Ukrainians, Russians, Crimean Tatars, and people of Armenian, Polish, German, Czech, and other roots live alongside one another in Crimea.
“Orthodox, Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Karaites, representatives of other faiths and non-believers have lived together peacefully on the peninsula for centuries – and today we will not allow our origin or religion divide us. We are children of the one God, who is our Father. Crimea’s motto, which is written on its coat of arms, is ‘Prosperity in unity.’ Let us not forget this motto in these difficult times,” says the bishop.