Ukraine: Holy See urges nations to avoid horrors of conflict
By Benedict Mayaki, SJ
Speaking at the 1355th meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday, Monsignor Janusz Urbanczyk, the Permanent Representative of the Holy See, expressed profound concern about the situation in and around Ukraine, following the recent rise in tensions.
In past weeks, Ukraine has faced the threat of invasion from Russia, with diplomatic efforts showing little sign of progress as Russia amasses combat troops near its border with Ukraine.
Reminding all that “war is madness” and those who suffer most from it are not those who start them but rather the helpless victims of them, Msgr. Urbanczyk reiterated the Holy See’s appeal that “any hint of threat of war be silenced,” and “men, women and children be preserved from the horrors of conflict.”
Pope Francis’ appeal
Msgr. Urbanczyk highlighted Pope Francis’ calls for peace over the past few weeks, warning that the escalating tension threatens to inflict “a new blow to the peace in Ukraine, and calls into question the security of the European continent, with wider repercussions.”
More so, during the annual meeting with the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See on 10 January, the Pope stressed that “reciprocal trust and readiness to engage in calm discussion should inspire all parties at stake, so that acceptable and lasting solutions can be found in Ukraine.”
The Pope further invited the faithful to a day of prayer and peace for Ukraine on 23 January. Speaking at that Sunday's Angelus, he appealed to all people of good will to “raise prayers to God Almighty that every political action and initiative may serve human brotherhood, rather than partisan interests.”
Reiterating the Pope’s words, Msgr. Urbanczyk urged that “no energy or opportunity should be spared in pursuing international dialogue in order to end tensions.”
The Vatican representative concluded his intervention by reiterating the Holy See’s steadfast support for the efforts in the promotion of peace and reconciliation of the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM).