Major Archbishop Shevchuk thanks Pope for Angelus appeal for Ukraine
By Lisa Zengarini
The Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, has expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis for once again strongly condemning the ongoing war in Ukraine.
During the Angelus Prayer on Sunday, 6 March, the Pope refuted President Vladimir Putin’s claim that the aggression waged against Ukraine is only a military operation, saying it is, in fact, a bloody war “which creates death and destruction” and calling for the immediate “return to respecting international law”.
Gratitude to Churches for supporting Ukraine
In his latest daily message to the faithful from besieged Kyiv, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church thanked the Pope for these words.
He also expressed his gratitude to all those who are supporting Ukraine and its people in this tragic moment, particularly to the Catholic bishops of Asia, who launched an appeal last week, and to Eastern rite Churches in India and Europe.
He further thanked the Polish Church and government for taking in, assisting, and giving shelter to more than one million refugees crossing the border into Poland.
Over 1.5 million refugees
Up to day a total of 2 million Ukrainians, for the most part women and children, have left the country, also through neighbouring Romania, Moldova and Slovakia.
Major Archbishop Shevchuk then praised all Ukrainian leaders “who truly and worthily exercise state governance at various levels” and organise the protection of the population, and thanked Caritas Ukraine for its relief efforts.
In his message, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church expressed deep anguish for his Archdiocese, as Russian forces move closer to the capital, and lamented that humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians have yet to be effectively opened.
On Monday, the Ukrainian government rejected Moscow's offer to create humanitarian corridors from several bombarded cities, including Kyiv, after it emerged that most of the supposedly safe routes led directly to Russia or its ally, Belarus.