Thursday, February 26, 2015

UGCC Head Urges the Pope to Denounce Russia; Says Ukraine Combat Due to Russian Aggression

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) has urged a tougher line on Russian aggression in his country from Pope Francis, the Ecumenical News website reports today (February 26, 2015).

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said on February 23 that a February 4 statement from Francis -- in which he called the conflict between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists "fractricidal" -- was "particularly painful for all the people in Ukraine."

The Greek Catholic leader from the conflict-wracked country said the Pope's line had rankled Ukrainians who see the violence on the Crimean peninsula not as a civil conflict, but an act of foreign aggression by Russia.

Shevchuk expressed regret that Francis did not specifically point a finger at Russia in his February 20 remarks to a group of visiting Ukrainian bishops, instead referring only to a "situation of grave conflict."

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