Ukraine protects European values at the cost of its children’s blood, - Head of the UGCC to participants of International forum in Italy

Thursday, 24 February 2022, 10:50
The International Forum "Mediterranean - Border of Peace" is held in Florence (Italy) from February 23-27. At the beginning of the meeting, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Episcopal Conference of Italy, read a letter from His Beatitude Sviatoslav. The bishops and mayors of the Mediterranean cities, the Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi and delegates from various international organizations arrived in Tuscany, Italy. Pope Francis will arrive in Florence on Sunday, February 27.

In his letter, the Head of the UGCC explained the reasons why he could not come to the meeting and spoke about the situation in Ukraine: “These days the Russian government has officially violated the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country, acknowledging the autonomy of the self-proclaimed republics of the DNR and LNR sending the Russian army to "ensure peace”, so to say. In this dramatic time, I feel obliged to be with my people in prayer for peace."

His Beatitude Sviatoslav stressed that Ukraine "protects European values ​​at the cost of blood of its children, and my country risks becoming a field of death." He also recalled that "Ukraine has been an innocent victim of Russia's hybrid war for eight years", and the war in Ukraine can no longer be called a "Ukrainian crisis or conflict" because it is a real attack on Europe, collective security and the future of the European continent”.

After the World War II, the Head of the UGCC emphasized, Europe proclaimed peace and stability as its highest values, "but these are the days when we witness the domination of the law of the stronger."

The head of the UGCC also recalled the example of Blessed La Pira, mayor of Florence, founder of the "Mediterranean Meetings of Peace": During his trip to Moscow in 1959, La Pira appealed to the Soviet government to get rid of the corpse of atheism and not to invest in weapons.

 In his speech, the head of the Italian government Mario Draghi also stressed that "the events in Ukraine motivate us to emphasize that force and its abuse cannot be tolerated."

At the initiative of Pope Francis, this year's meeting is being held in Florence. On Sunday, February 27, the Holy Father will lead Mass in the Basilica of the Holy Cross. He will meet with the mayors of the capitals of the Mediterranean coast and refugee families.

The UGCC Department for Information



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