02 March 2022, The Tablet

Catholic bishops urge sanctuary for fleeing Ukrainians


The bishops call on the international community to act together and with determination “to put an immediate end to Russia’s war against Ukraine”.


Catholic bishops urge sanctuary for fleeing Ukrainians

Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski is among the Catholic bishops who have written to Liz Truss.
Tayfun Salci/Zuma

Eight bishops from England and Wales have written to Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to welcome the government’s “resolute defence of Ukraine’s sovereignty and opposition to Russia’s invasion” and emphasising how important the Ukrainian Greek Catholic community is to the Church in England and Wales.

The bishops, including Ukrainian Eparch Kenneth Nowakowski, assert the importance of providing humanitarian assistance especially the need to offer “sanctuary to people who are forced to flee their homes”.

The bishops, members of the Bishops’ Conference International Affairs department, assure the Foreign Secretary that their prayers are with “those seeking to end this conflict through peaceful means, including dialogue and negotiation, which can be the only way forward”.

In the letter they warn: “We are deeply aware of the danger that, without a swift and peaceful resolution, violence will only spread further, becoming a threat to the wider continent, and compounding the suffering already being experienced by Ukraine’s people.”

They call on the international community to act together and with determination “to put an immediate end to Russia’s war against Ukraine and to do everything possible to protect innocent men, women, and children”.

The Ukrainian Catholic community is regarded as an important part of the Church in England and Wales. Many have family members and friends in Ukraine, who have suffered from Russia’s illegal military actions since 2014 and now face a catastrophic escalation of violence.

“Our country has a clear moral duty to support Ukraine’s people. We welcome the UK Government’s resolute defence of Ukrainian sovereignty and opposition to Russia’s invasion. As this crisis worsens, it is essential that we also provide humanitarian assistance and offer sanctuary to people who are forced to flee their homes.

“We are deeply aware of the danger that, without a swift and peaceful resolution, violence will only spread further, becoming a threat to the wider continent, and compounding the suffering already being experienced by Ukraine’s people.”

Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, has said: “The world cannot develop and find answers for the challenges of today by resorting to might and violence, by showing disdain for shared human values and the truth of the Gospel.”

The signatories include Bishop Declan Lang, chair of the department for international affairs and Bishop Nicholas Hudson, lead bishop for Europe.

 


  Loading ...
Get Instant Access
Subscribe to The Tablet for just £7.99

Subscribe today to take advantage of our introductory offers and enjoy 30 days' access for just £7.99