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Ukrainian Archbishop Criticizes ‘Vatican Dreamers’ over Russia War


ROME — Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk has criticized “Vatican dreamers” for searching for a untimely reconciliation between Ukraine and Russia whereas army aggression continues.

“To be reconciled, one must at least be alive,” Archbishop Shevchuk mentioned in an interview on Radio Ukraine Friday.

The archbishop’s feedback had been sparked by the Vatican’s Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) celebrated Friday in Rome’s Colosseum, throughout which a Russian and a Ukrainian lady carried the cross collectively for the thirteenth station, a state of affairs that precipitated a wave of indignation amongst Ukrainians.

This yr, “some of those Vatican dreamers who dream of peace between nations, brotherhood, and unity came up with the idea of ​​making gestures of reconciliation between Russians and Ukrainians along the Way of the Cross,” Shevchuk famous, a gesture that was replicated elsewhere in Italy, Poland, and Germany.

“When we are all expecting another offensive by Russian troops on Ukraine, such gestures are in principle impossible,” Shevchuk mentioned. “After all, to be reconciled, you must at least be alive.”

“And while there is an active phase of such a deadly war, it is not time to talk about reconciliation,” he added. “We must first stop killing each other, and then we can talk about the next steps.”

The body of a serviceman is coated in snow as a man takes photos of a destroyed Russian military multiple rocket launcher vehicle on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Russian troops bore down on Ukraine's capital Friday, with gunfire and explosions resonating ever closer to the government quarter, in an invasion of a democratic country that has fueled fears of wider war in Europe and triggered worldwide efforts to make Russia stop. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The physique of a serviceman is coated in snow as a person takes images of a destroyed Russian army a number of rocket launcher automobile on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Russian troops bore down on Ukraine’s capital Friday, with gunfire and explosions resonating ever nearer to the federal government quarter, in an invasion of a democratic nation that has fueled fears of wider struggle in Europe and triggered worldwide efforts to make Russia cease (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda).

The archbishop contended that the subsequent step needs to be “to convict the offender and establish justice,” by which all “crimes against Ukraine must be convicted by an international tribunal.”

“Only after the conviction of the Russian aggressor can there be the beginning of a process of reconciliation, and it will be a long road,” he acknowledged. “Because the process of reconciliation means healing the wound, it is respect for the victim’s wounds.”

“And without sensitivity to the victim of this unjust aggression, we have no Christian right to speak of reconciliation,” he mentioned.

Shevchuk famous that it was the pope’s apostolic nuncio (ambassador) to Ukraine, Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, who first criticized the Vatican’s try at “coercing peace.”

“He was the first to inform the Holy See that Ukrainians are experiencing these premature reconciliation projects with pain,” Shevchuk mentioned.

The prelate additionally expressed his hope that Pope Francis will go to Ukraine quickly. “It would be a powerful sign of solidarity and support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in difficult bloody times,” he mentioned.





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