Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 24, 2022 / 09:05 am (CNA).
The Polish Bishops’ Conference is responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Conference president and Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki of Poznan released the letter Feb. 24 as reports come in of casualties and destruction as a result from the Russian invasion.
The letter can be seen below:
In connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on behalf of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, I strongly condemn the actions of Russia and Vladimir Putin, recognizing them as an unacceptable and shameful act of barbarism, directed against the sovereignty and freedom of an independent state.
At the same time, together with the entire Church in Poland, I express my solidarity with all Ukrainians, both in Poland and in Ukraine, assuring them of our closeness, prayers, and readiness to help them.
In connection with the request of Pope Francis, I ask the bishops and all the faithful in the Church in Poland to observe Ash Wednesday as a day of fasting, prayer for peace, and solidarity with Ukraine. I ask that, in every church and parish in Poland, we make fervent supplications for peace and for the Ukrainians, that the Lord may comfort their hearts in this dramatic situation.
As the Church in Poland, we wish to provide our brothers and sisters with material help. I, therefore, ask that both this Sunday and Ash Wednesday, after each Mass, collections be organized to gather funds, which – through Caritas Poland – will be allocated to help war refugees from Ukraine. The assistance of the Catholic Church in Poland will be provided gradually and systematically through our charitable institutions—on the parish, diocesan, and national levels—, including the Team for Assistance to the Church in the East attached to the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
Moreover, I ask all the faithful and people of good will to be open to those in need of shelter.
I entrust the fate of Ukraine and Poland to the Queen of Peace, assuring everyone of my spiritual closeness and my prayers.
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