Bishops call for peace in Ukraine, generous Australian response
“We express our deep compassion for the people of Ukraine and our solidarity with all people of Ukrainian heritage here in Australia,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“It’s not enough to condemn the bloodshed, breathe threats and take half-measures. The entire international community – including Australia – needs to do all in its power to stop the violence.
“This isn’t some geopolitical game. Lives are at stake. The lies have to stop. Truth and justice have to prevail if there is to be a future for all of us.
“Ukraine may seem a long way from Australia, but what’s happening there is not. Ukraine has become the world which will never be the same because of this militarised barbarism.”
Bishop Mykola Bychok, the leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia, said there has been growing fear in his homeland in recent weeks. That fear was realised this week.
“Ukraine is a peaceful nation; we don’t want war. An escalated Russian invasion will result in much more dead and injured, millions of refugees, more tears and pain,” he said.
“This is a question of life and death as nostalgia for an empire lost has led to the senseless slaughter and immense suffering throughout Ukraine.”
Archbishop Coleridge stressed that, as with other countries that have known war in recent years, most recently Afghanistan, “a generous response by the Australian Government is needed to help people fleeing violence in Ukraine”.
The Pope called on all believers and people of goodwill to make Ash Wednesday, March 2, a special day of prayer and fasting for peace. Archbishop Coleridge urged parishes, schools and other Catholic communities in Australia to heed his call.