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++ Ukraine: Greek Catholic Bishops, “sacred right and duty to defend one’s homeland” from Russian “aggression” ++

“On the eve of Advent, our country is experiencing another Calvary”, that is, “an open aggression by the Russian Federation, which deployed large military forces on the borders with our country”. The Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church wrote this in a letter received by SIR news agency, which contains a call on the faithful to intensify prayer and fasting “at this difficult time for our country”. The Bishops underlined that although the international community has condemned the move, half of the country’s regions are now under martial law. They also gave assurances of their “sustained prayer for defence against foreign aggression and for the restoration of peace and integrity of our country”. The Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, moreover, stressed “that the Ukrainian people have the sacred right and duty to defend their homeland”. They called on Ukrainian nationals to understand “certain restrictions” in their daily lives due to the current situation, and urged everyone “not to succumb to anxiety, provoked by those who seek to sow panic and feelings of despair in our hearts”. “The guarantee of the ultimate victory of the people and the State over the forces of darkness and evil – the letter reads – is given by our previous experience; indeed, thanks to God, with a spirit of love and sacrifice for our homeland, and with solidarity, we have overcome extremely difficult challenges and threats together”.

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