Ukrainian bishops call for rapid solidarity
Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in Canada are asking all Catholics for prayers, charitable donations and three days of fasting from November 24-26 in solidarity with Ukrainians living with food shortages and facing days without heat, light or water while Russia continues to target civilian infrastructure, especially Ukraine. electrical network.
In a pastoral letter distributed through the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishops Lawrence Huculak, David Motiuk and Bryan Bayda liken Russian attacks on civilian targets to Joseph Stalin’s 1932-33 plan to starve the world. Ukraine until it submitted – an event Ukrainians remember as the Holodomor, an internationally recognized genocide.
“For me, it’s kind of a natural bond,” Edmonton Eparchial Bishop David Motiuk told the Catholic Register. “1932-33 was a genocide. Once again, a genocide in the making to say that the Ukrainian nation does not exist.
In February, as the Russian invasion began, Vladimir Putin explicitly denied that Ukraine ever had a “real state”. He said Ukraine was an integral part of Russia’s “history, culture and spiritual space”.
In the first week of November, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that 4.5 million Ukrainians, more than 10% of the pre-war population, were without electricity due to Russian drone strikes on transformers and power plants. At the same time, the Russian military administration in occupied parts of Ukraine has launched a program of “massive forced resettlement” of Ukrainians, Zelensky said.
“Let us pray for those who endure war, who defend their country and their nation, who live in fear and who have been forced to flee their homes,” the Ukrainian Bishops of Canada wrote in their pastoral letter. “Let us pray for those who died in war and for those who died today and will die tomorrow.”
The Bishops cite the Catholic Near East Welfare Association – Canada (CNEWA), Development and Peace – Caritas Canada, Aid to the Church in Need – Canada, Canadian Jesuits International and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress as trusted organizations for donations to Ukrainians who endure the war.
The three-day fast in solidarity with Ukraine coincides with Canada’s annual Holodomor commemorations.
“Quick as best you can. For some this will mean only bread and water, for some no sweets, for others only one meal a day,” the bishops write. “However you choose to fast, unite your thoughts and prayers before the Lord for peace for the people of Ukraine.”
Fasting makes sense if you want to be in solidarity with people who are hungry, Motiuk said.
“There are people in Ukraine who are starving and really struggling to put food on the table.”