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Pope meets with Bishops from Ukraine and calls for war truce to be respected

2015-02-20

The Bishops of Ukraine visited the Pope to discuss how the war is affecting Ukrainians and the Church. Before, the Pope met with Bishops from the Greek Catholic Church, along with their Major Archbishop,  Sviatoslav Shevshuk.

"Ukrainian colors are beautiful. And the jewelry. Everything, everything ... "

The Pope then held a closed door meeting with Bishops from the Latin Church.

"I am greatly saddened by the war."

They prayed together and, as usual, the Pope gave them a written document describing his thoughts on the situation.

He told the Bishops that he has been praying for peace and for the victims of the conflict. He also called on all parties to respect the recent truce.

As the meeting continued, the Pope said that he knows about "the historical events that have marked your land.” He told them politics should not be their main focus, adding that there are 'socio-cultural realities and human tragedies that await your direct and positive contribution.' 

He reminded the Bishops that as citizens with full rights, they have the right to take part in shaping the future of their country. However, he added that Bishops should not "promote concrete political action, but instead should reaffirm the values that unite Ukrainian society.”

Later in the meeting, the Pope said he regrets that "a small group of people has been enriched at the expense of the majority of citizens," which have also "contaminated" public institutions.

Since the crisis erupted, the Pope has made consistent appeals for peace in Ukraine. But to avoid depicting the war as between "Russian Orthodox" and "Catholics," he always adds that he regrets the violence taking place on both sides.


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