While Ukraine is calling for the intervention of UN peacekeeping forces, to ensure that the February 15th ceasefire, which has been violated several times, be respected, the country’s Bishops are on their ad Limina visitto Rome. This morning, the bishops met with Pope Francis at the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
The visit ad Limina Apostolorum, is made at least every five years by the diocesan Bishops of a specific country to pray at the tomb of Saint Peter and to update the Pope on the situation in their dioceses.
On Thursday afternoon, the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, together with four Metropolitans and other Eparchial Bishops, concelebrated a liturgy in the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, to pray for peace.
At the end of the ceremony, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri recalled that “the first sign of God’s salvation already operating in us is that of being gathered as a people, as ecclesia, to invoke and supplicate.” And, with God’s help, he encouraged them to come out of the “despair that could take hold of us on seeing so much violence and war, which has already claimed too many victims in the beloved Ukranian nation.”
The Cardinal was pleased by the Bishops’ news of the solidarity of the people to help and receive “poorer brothers from regions most exposed to the conflict.”
He also invited to the commitment to be “architects of peace and reconciliation.” Additionally, he reminded that “hatred only destroys; it has never built, nor will it build, anything.”
Concluding his address, Cardinal Sandri called on them to be alert for anything that could “lead to hatred, and to defend the people from those who fight with hatred and spread hatred, as if they were real enemies.”
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On ZENIT’s website:
For the full text of Cardinal Sandri’s address, go to: