As battles rage, Catholics in Ukraine request Independence Day prayers

(CNS) As Ukrainians prepared to mark their Aug. 24 Independence Day under the cloud of fierce fighting in the East, Catholic leaders condemned the threat to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and prayed for a speedy end to the hostilities.

At the same time, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, issued a rebuttal to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow’s claims that that the Ukrainian Catholic Church and its priests were fomenting hatred and violence against believers who belong to the Orthodox Church affiliated with Moscow.

Patriarch Kirill had made the claims in an Aug. 14 letter to the patriarchs and heads of Orthodox churches around the world and in a similar letter Aug. 18 to the United Nations, the European Council and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. [More]

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CNS