- Jun 23, 2021
A Catholic bishop from eastern Ukraine said tensions remain high despite an announced withdrawal of Russian forces.
With Russia building up its troops in the border with Ukraine, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, the current head of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, is warning the conflict is not only a threat for the region, but for the world.
The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church thanked Pope Francis for publicly voicing concern about the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine and the increased presence of Russian troops on border.
Pope Francis on Sunday voiced apprehension over a recent Russian troop buildup near the border with Ukraine and called for efforts to ease tensions in the 7-year conflict in eastern Ukraine pitting Ukrainian forces against Russia-backed rebels.
Although the Ukrainian government has not closed churches during the pandemic, Ukraine was “confronting other pandemics,” said its major archbishop.
A senior Catholic aid worker said humanitarian conditions are deteriorating in eastern Ukraine and urged Western governments and churches not to forget the continuing six-year conflict.
In a phone conversation with Pope Francis, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appealed for help in securing the release of Ukrainian citizens being held in areas occupied by Russian or pro-Russian forces.
Pope Francis offered prayers for a summit in France that will seek to bring an end to the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine.