From Florence, where the “Mediterranean, Frontier of Peace” meeting is currently taking place, His Excellence Msgr Gintaras Grušas, Archbishop of Vilnius and President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), makes a heartfelt appeal for peace in Ukraine.
The Churches in Europe strongly condemn what has happened tonight in Ukraine. We must act together, and with determination, to put an immediate end to the Russian aggression and to do everything possible to protect innocent women, men and children: in the name of God, stop now!
The international community, and the European Union in particular, should leave no stone unturned to stop this conflict, that the weapons will give way to dialogue and negotiations, and so that international law and the independence and territorial sovereignty of Ukraine are defended. We must strive to end a war that would inevitably spread from Ukraine to neighbouring states and become a threat to the whole of Europe.
The European bishops and the Christian communities pray for the victims of this conflict and for their families. They unite with those who are suffering from these acts of violence and they join Pope Francis’ call for prayer and fasting for peace: “May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war”.
Florence, 24 February 2022