Monsignor Sviatoslav Shevchuk appealed to the world not to be silent in face of the war. The Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church called for the solidarity of the International Community and invited not to remain silent “words save, words build peace; silence and indifference kill.”
Monsignor Shevchuk published a video message with this appeal on Saturday, February 26, 2022.
Support of the Pope, of the Church, and of Patriarch Bartholomew
The Major Archbishop expressed first the support of Pope Francis, who called him the previous day. The Holy Father said literally: ‘Farò tutto che é possibile’ [I’ll do everything possible), to stop the war so that innocent people don’t die, for Ukraine to have the opportunity to develop freely.”
I would like everyone to be grateful to the Holy Father because the world community is mobilizing in our support,” added Monsignor Shevchuk
The Prelate also expressed his gratitude to all those that in the last days have sent letters of support and solidarity “with Ukraine, with the Ukrainian people, and with our Church.” Thus he thanked the Conference of the Bishops of Europe and its President, the Archbishop of Vilnius, Monsignor Gintaras Grušas, as well as the Bishops of Poland, Germany, France, England, Italy, the United States, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Croatia.
“It was particularly pleasant for me to receive a letter from all the Catholic Bishops of Kazakhstan expressing their support to our Ukraine and their unity with our people in prayer,” said the representative of the Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine.
Archbishop Shevchuk also expressed his gratitude to Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, “who expressed his concern for my personal wellbeing here in Kiev and shared his fraternal support and prayer.” Monsignor Shevchuk also said that, “in face of death, in face of brutal military force, every schism and ecclesiastical division falls, and we all unite in the name of God and the good of the person.”
“Do What You Must Do, Express Your Support to Ukraine!”
“At this time in which blood is being shed on the land of Ukraine when the words of Patriarch Joseph are repeated, mountains of bodies and rivers of blood, in our cities and on all the shores of the Dnieper River, from the borders with Byelorussia to the shores of the Black Sea, no one has the right to keep silent, because lives can be saved with one word, but silence can kill.”
Then the Major Archbishop asked “all those who heard our voice from Kiev flowing with blood: fight for peace. Intercede for those that need your help. Do all for the aggressor to withdraw and leave Ukraine’s land. Whoever you are, whoever they are, Heads of State or Parliaments, politicians, soldiers or members of the Church, do what you must do, express your support to Ukraine!”
“Ukraine is conquering. Ukraine is fighting, but we ask today’s world to be solidary with us and not to remain silent, because words save, words build peace; silence and indifference kill,” he concluded.
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester