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Pope Francis meets with bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at the Vatican yesterday (Vatican Media)

Insisting that there is “a need for more prayer, for conversion and an end to the conflict” in Ukraine, Pope Francis has invited Christians to dedicate October to praying for peace and reconciliation in the war-torn country. Source: Vatican News.

The appeal to dedicate next month to prayers for peace in Ukraine came during a meeting yesterday with the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, who are holding their annual Synod in Rome.

Pope Francis “expressed his desire that during the month of October, especially in [Marian] Shrines, the Rosary be dedicated to peace and reconciliation in Ukraine”.

At the beginning of the nearly two-hour encounter, the Pope was greeted by Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, “who recalled the painful situation in which his country finds itself, with an increasing number of dead, wounded and tortured people, and who thanked the Pope for the affection shown in so many ways and on so many occasions.”

A statement from the Holy See Press Office noted that, following the greeting from Major Archbishop Shevchuk, several of the assembled bishops shared with the Pope their stories of “the suffering that the Ukrainian people are experiencing in different places and in different ways”.

The Press Office noted that the Holy Father “listened attentively” to their testimony, and “with some brief interventions, expressed his feelings of closeness and participation in the tragedy that the Ukrainians are experiencing, with a ‘dimension of martyrdom’ that is not spoken about enough, subjected to cruelty and criminality.”

He also spoke about “his sorrow for the sense of helplessness experienced in the face of war,” which he ascribed to “the devil, who desires to destroy.”


Pope calls for October to be dedicated to praying for peace in Ukraine (By Christopher Wells, Vatican News)


Ukraine’s Catholic bishops tell pope that his praise for Russia’s imperial past ‘pained’ Ukrainians (NCR Online)