Francis sends two cardinals to Ukraine to serve and help the people
Pope Francis during the Sunday Angelus appealed against the Russian attack that “sows death, destruction and misery” and sends two cardinals as expressions of the Church’s solidarity with the suffering Ukrainian people.
“In Ukraine, rivers of blood and tears are flowing. This is not just a military operation but a war which sows death, destruction and misery,” he told crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican City March 6.The pope’s remarks counters those of Russian President Vladimir Putin who has described his invasion of Ukraine as “a special military operation” against Ukraine not designed to occupy territory but to destroy the military capabilities of Russia’s southern neighbour.
Monday, March 7 is the 12 day since Russia invaded Ukraine, a war that has killed over 360 civilians in Ukraine and forced more than 1 million Ukrainians to flee their country.
“The need for humanitarian assistance in that troubled country is growing dramatically by the hour,” the pope said.
“I thank all those who are taking in refugees. Above all, I implore that the armed attacks cease and that negotiation — and common sense — prevail. And that international law be respected once again,” Francis said.
“The Holy See is willing to do everything to put itself at the service of peace,” the pope said and dispatched Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Almoner, and Cardinal Michael Czerny, the Prefect ad interim of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
“The presence of the two cardinals there is the presence not only of the pope, but of all the Christian people who want to get closer and say: “War is madness! Stop, please! Look at this cruelty!”” the pope said.
Cardinal Krajewski is on his way (March 7) towards the Polish/Ukraine border, where he will visit refugees and volunteers in shelters and homes.
Cardinal Czerny will arrive in Hungary on Tuesday (March 8) to visit some reception centers for the migrants coming from Ukraine.
Both are directed to Ukraine and depending on the situation they intend to reach the country in the coming days, according to a Holy See Press Office media release.
This latest action by Pope Francis is meant to also call attention to the many similar situations throughout the world and to continue drawing similarities between the Ukrainians’ sufferings and the protracted conflicts that no longer attract the world’s attention.
It cited what Pope Francis on the previous Sunday said: “With a heart broken by what is happening in Ukraine – let us not forget the wars in other parts of the world, such as Yemen, Syria, Ethiopia. I repeat: put down your weapons! God is with the peacemakers, not with those who use violence.”
Read the Pope’s full appeal for Ukraine below:
Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine. It is not merely a military operation, but a war, which sows death, destruction and misery. The number of victims is increasing, as are the people fleeing, especially mothers and children. The need for humanitarian assistance in that troubled country is growing dramatically by the hour.
I make a heartfelt appeal for humanitarian corridors to be genuinely secured, and for aid to be guaranteed and access facilitated to the besieged areas, in order to offer vital relief to our brothers and sisters oppressed by bombs and fear.
I thank all those who are taking in refugees. Above all, I implore that the armed attacks cease and that negotiation – and common sense – prevail. And that international law be respected once again!
And I would also like to thank the journalists who put their lives at risk to provide information. Thank you, brothers and sisters, for this service! A service that allows us to be close to the tragedy of that population and enables us to assess the cruelty of a war. Thank you, brothers and sisters.
Let us pray together for Ukraine: we have its flags in front of us. Let us pray together, as brothers and sisters, to Our Lady, Queen of Ukraine. Hail Mary…
The Holy See is ready to do everything, to put itself at the service of this peace. In these days, two Cardinals went to Ukraine, to serve the people, to help. Cardinal Krajewski, the Almoner, to bring aid to the needy, and Cardinal Czerny, interim Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The presence of the two Cardinals there is the presence not only of the Pope, but of all the Christian people who want to get closer and say: “War is madness! Stop, please! Look at this cruelty!”.
Reproduced with permission from La Croix International.