"The first victim of this war is the truth", His Beatitude Sviatoslav to the Catholic Bishops of Europe

Monday, 10 October 2016, 09:42
On October 6-9 in the Principality of Monaco was held the Plenary Assembly of the Council of Bishops' Conferences of Europe. On October 8, during a regular work session, the heads of the Catholic Bishoprics from various European countries listened to the report about the pastoral challenges for the Church in their communities.

In his word His Beatitude Sviatoslav informed his fellow brothers in Bishopric about the third year of the Ukrainian people suffering from war.  The Head of the UGCC emphasized that despite diplomatic efforts and other  steps taken by the international community,  a continued interruption of military actions in Ukraine wasn't reached.

"Besides the annexed Crimea, seven percent of the territory of Ukraine is occupied in the Ukrainian Donbas. Nowadays our country has more than two million of internally displaced people. Millions of people  were directly affected by the military actions with hundreds of perished and  missing, and  thousands of wounded who require continuous treatment. Hundreds of people are held captive on the occupied territories and today the international community, Churches and religious organizations are trying to assist in their release", pointed out the Primate of the UGCC.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav described in detail the signs of humanitarian and economic crisis which Ukraine is currently undergoing. He said that one-forth of the Ukrainian economy was destroyed. Because of the economic and energetic war against Ukraine and the devaluation of the national currency the prices on the staple foods almost doubled and go on increasing fast. "According to the UN statistics, 78 percent of the Ukrainian people live under the poverty line. All this causes a new strong wave of emigration to the countries of Europe, particularly among young people who are looking for opportunities to help their families survive in these extreme conditions", said the speaker.

The Head of the UGCC told about the pastoral service of the Church in the contemporary circumstances, in particular, about preaching the Gospel and  social service to the needy.  His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked heartily to the Bishops' conferences of Europe and all brothers and sisters in Christ for their generous response to the call of the Holy Father Francis to take up a collection in all Catholic communities on April 24 this year for the needs of those who suffered from the war in Ukraine. The Head of the UGCC  informed about the priorities determined by the Holy See and the way of holding the humanitarian action "Pope for Ukraine" started by the Holy Father. He thanked the Holy Father that with His call He ruined European silence and indifference about this international crisis and once again drew attention to the pain of Ukraine.

The Primate of the Church underlined that today for the  suffering Ukrainian people the international solidarity and  not suppression of the truth about war in our country are very important.

"The first victim of this war is the truth. A wide campaign of disinformation and ignoring the truth about this European war causes harm not only to its victim but also to all of those who encourage the aggressor by their silence or inaction", said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The UGCC Department of Information 

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