- Who will inherit the earth?
World leaders meet in Paris on Monday for the latest round of talks on reducing carbon emissions. Differences between rich and poor countries threaten the search for solutions
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Pope in Africa: Corruption is present in all parts of life 'including the Vatican', Francis tells young people
- Francis arrives in Uganda calling for transparent governance
- Pope in Africa: Francis goes to the slums and denounces faceless elites who exclude the poor
- Pope in Africa: Failure to get agreement in Paris would be 'catastrophic' for the planet, Pope tells UN
- Pope in Africa: Francis' trip to Africa the most profound of messages to climate change conference in Paris Christopher Lamb in Nairobi
- Any peace plan for Syria must involve a secular society - and that means Assad is an option John Eibner
- Depriving Isis of a home is key to victory, but the West must avoid humiliating Muslims in defeat Clifford Longley
Several Catholic priests in Ukraine fled the country’s Black Sea region of Crimea after receiving threatening phone calls and messages from local pro-Russian armed militia and being abducted for several days.
“The situation is very dangerous, we all hope that Western political forces will stop (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” said Fr Bronislaw Bernacki, Roman Catholic Bishop of Odessa-Simferopol.
With the growing numbers of Russian troops and local pro-Russian militia, pressure has mounted on people in Crimea who did not recognise the Moscow’s sudden takeover of the Crimea peninsula, including Ukrainian Roman and Greek Catholic priests in the region.
“We need help and spiritual support … a miracle, a miracle of peace,” said Fr Jacek Pyl, a Roman Catholic priest in Crimea. The head of the Jesuits in Ukraine, Fr David Nazar, called the annexation of Crimea a “completely illegal occupation”.
While most of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches condemned Moscow’s actions in Crimea, the Russian Orthodox Church called it “the peace-making mission” that “should guarantee the Crimea citizens the right to self-determination and close ties with other peoples of historical Rus”.
Fr Vladimir Legoyda, spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate, added: “We pray for fraternal blood to never be shed on the Crimean land and for God to keep all residents of the peninsula – Russians, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and representatives of other ethnicities – in peace, wellbeing and consensus.”
Above: Orthodox clergymen pray next to armed servicemen near Russian army vehicles outside a Ukrainian border guard post in the Crimean. Photo: CNS/Reuters