ROME — Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk warned Friday that the Russian army is making serious inroads in its ongoing armed assault on Ukraine.
In a video message, Archbishop Shevchuk marked the 135th day of Russia’s “full-scale invasion” of Ukraine by Russia, which is trampling the land and slaughtering citizens with its “murderous hand.”
“The enemy continues to advance, in particular on the border of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, storming the cities of Kramatorsk, Slovyansk, and Bakhmut, subjecting our cities and villages to devastating rocket attacks,” the archbishop said in his chronicle of the day’s events.
“Again, Kharkiv suffered from rocket attacks, as did the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in the south of Ukraine,” he said, and many people died or were injured as a result of “these brutal enemy attacks.”
And although in the past 24 hours “again many people died in Ukraine, many were injured,” Shevchuk thanked “the Lord God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine” on behalf of his nation “that we survived until this morning, that we can be together, that we can stand before God, that we can live and serve God and Ukraine.”
“Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying. And Ukraine is overcoming, first of all overcoming the evil in its own heart,” he said.
As he has done on other occasions, the archbishop underscored the close relationship between the battle with external enemies and the spiritual battle all Christians face with evil in their own lives.
It is necessary “to fight for freedom, even for personal freedom from sin,” he said, and “repentance is a necessary element, is the key to this freedom, a necessary condition for it, and also the way Christians learn to overcome.”
“Today we ask the Lord God to teach us to overcome, to overcome evil,” he said, while launching an appeal to “pray and fast, in particular for those of our Ukrainians, brothers and sisters, civilians and soldiers, who have gone missing.”
“The fate of relatives who have received the news that their son or daughter has gone missing turns into hell on earth,” he said. “How terrible it is not to know whether your son, your daughter, your husband, your wife, is alive or dead, not knowing how to pray for them, not having reliable information from anyone about where they are and how they can be helped.”
Many of those who have gone missing will turn up dead, he soberly noted, while others are held by the enemy in concentration camps, or as the Russians euphemistically call them, “filtration” camps.
“O God, bless Ukraine. O God, teach us to overcome evil. O God, grant us victory over the one who brings evil, death, and murder to the Ukrainian land. O God, bless the children of Ukraine,” he concluded.
Leave a Reply