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Ukrainian archbishop denounces Russia’s “sacrilegious war” against Ukraine

ROME — Ukraine is crying and bleeding because of its “unequal battle with the Russian occupier,” Ukrainian Major Archbishop Svyatoslav Shevchuk said Friday in a video message.

The Ukrainian people are “defending their homeland against the background of this great unjust, senseless and sacrilegious war”, said Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

In his message, the Archbishop recounted the latest sufferings of his people, including the heavy shelling of the cities of Kharkiv, Mykolayiv and Zaporizhzhia between Thursday and Friday.

“The enemy launched a large rocket attack on the city of Toretsk in the Donetsk region, and it hit a bus stop where civilians were waiting to be transported. Many people died and were injured,” Shevchuk said.

“The Orthodox Church was damaged and the priest was seriously injured. This sacrilege is truly beyond common sense,” he added.

Despite the outrages committed against it, Ukraine “is learning to overcome and with the strength of God is defending its right to exist, its right to freedom”, he said, noting that various international institutions have declared that ” the invaders lose the strategic initiative”.

“And the Ukrainians are successfully defending their land. And so, today we say: Ukraine is standing! Ukraine is fighting! Ukraine pray! he said.

The Archbishop also addressed a word of thanks and appreciation to Ukrainian emergency service workers who tirelessly carried out rescue missions.

“We see our towns and villages burning every day. And our firefighters are relentlessly putting out those fires,” he said. “We see how the enemy systematically destroys the infrastructure of major cities, launches rocket attacks against cities, the civilian population.”

“And our rescuers are relentlessly dismantling the rubble, and under the debris they come out and save the people who were there,” he added.

“Today, on behalf of our entire Church, I want to say to our firefighters, paramedics, lifeguards, and utility workers of various types: Thank you so much!” Shevchuk said. “We thank you for the heroic service you render, even at the cost of your own life, so that towns and villages are not deprived of electricity and gas.”

“We thank you for rushing to help and for being the first hand of God’s and Ukraine’s help, which is extended to those who have been victims of the Russian occupier,” he said. declared.

“May the Lord God bless you and reward you a hundredfold for all the heroic service you render to your people and your country,” he said.

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