Austrian Bishops Plan July Trip to Ukraine – Vindobona.org
The Austrian Bishops’ Conference takes place three times a year in the Basilica of Mariazell. / Photo: © Wikimedia Commons; Mureccles, CC BY-SA 4.0
The episcopal conference took place in Mariazell. Alongside the bishops, a total of 60 people from dioceses and important church institutions, as well as two representatives of the Christian ecumenical community, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Arsenios and Protestant Bishop Michael Chalupka, attended the two-day meeting. .
Solidarity with Ukraine was again identified as an important priority. Once again, the bishops called for help and solidarity with all the people suffering from the war in Ukraine and the refugees. The conference then declared that the bishops would visit Ukraine to show their solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
The two bishops will first attend the synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Church on July 11, which this time will be held in Przemysl, Poland, due to the war. Then they will meet in Lviv the high representatives of politics, of the two Orthodox Churches of Ukraine and the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church. A visit to aid projects is also on the program.
Although the will to help in Austria is unbroken, it cannot be taken for granted, “and we must continue to keep our hearts and homes open for all victims of this inhuman violence,” the Bishops say. The commitment to Ukraine also includes the willingness “to consciously accept the disadvantages here in our country that result from the solidarity of the free world with Ukraine”.
The episcopal conference also calls for “prospects of hope” for Ukraine. They noted that Austrian bishops, as well as other bishops in Europe, support political intentions to open up EU membership status for Ukraine.
In Mariazell, where the conference took place, the Mother of God Mary is invoked as “Mater Gentium Slavorum” (Mother of the Slav peoples). Therefore, it has a special religious significance when the bishops dedicated the prayer to the Ukrainian people. The Bishops underlined in this context: “We the Bishops entrust the Ukrainian people to him and ask for a quick and just peace for them.”