US Bishops echo Pope’s Appeal for Ukraine, ss the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues. The bishops also praised the March 3 decision of the US Federal Government to designate Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which allows foreign nationals to remain and work in the United States during a period in which it is deemed unsafe for them to return to their home country.
Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace offered the following statement:
“On February 24, the world watched in horror as Russia launched airstrikes and began shelling Ukraine. The death toll is already in the hundreds if not thousands and mounting. Over one million Ukrainians have already fled the fighting into neighboring European countries and millions more could become refugees.
“In this time of crisis, we echo the appeal by Pope Francis to those ‘with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war…who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.’ We join with the Holy Father in praying that ‘all the parties involved refrain from any action that would cause even more suffering to the people, destabilizing coexistence between nations and bringing international law into disrepute.’ We also join in solidarity with the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches and the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the U.S. who are all united in prayer for their people and their homeland.
“In view of the developing humanitarian crisis, I urge the U.S. government to provide all possible assistance to the people of Ukraine and to work closely with faith-based partners who are already on the ground providing emergency aid. I encourage everyone to give generously to organizations such as Catholic Relief Services and USCCB’s Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe that are bringing tangible relief and the hope of Christ to those in need.
“Those suffering in Ukraine and in the surrounding region will remain close in our hearts through this conflict. During this penitential season of Lent, with Our Lady of Fatima as our guide, let us not grow weary in praying for peace, justice, and the salvation of the whole world.”
In response to this designation and the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:
“I have watched with deep concern, along with so many others around the world, the unfolding events in Ukraine and the devastation facing the Ukrainian people. Many Ukrainians have demonstrated incredible resolve and bravery in the face of danger over recent days. Many others, especially children and the elderly, have been forced to seek safety, either within Ukraine or in neighboring countries. In these internally displaced persons and refugees, we are reminded of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt and the vulnerability of our infant Lord.
“We welcome the Secretary’s designation of TPS for Ukraine, which provides important protections for Ukrainians already in the United States. As Catholics, we believe wholeheartedly in protecting the sanctity of every human life. This includes addressing situations in which people are needlessly put into harm’s way.
“The United Nations has indicated that this conflict could result in five million refugees fleeing Ukraine. As we have for many decades, the Catholic Church in the United States will continue to welcome and serve refugees from all walks of life. Though the importance of humanitarian assistance cannot be understated, we also call on the Biden Administration and Congress to ensure that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program receives all necessary resources to reflect our country’s true capacity for providing refuge and welcome.
“I join my brother, Archbishop Gomez, in his solidarity with our Holy Father and the Church around the world in praying for peace to prevail. May Saint Joseph, who once sought safety for his own family, intercede for us and all those forced to leave their homes in the face of violence.”