Rome Newsroom, Jul 16, 2022 / 07:30 am (CNA).
Ukrainian Catholic bishops gathered in prayer together for the victims of a Russian missile strike on the city of Vinnytsia, which killed at least 23 people and wounded more than 200.
“It is unbearably painful to see the death of innocent civilians and the destruction of civil infrastructure in the central streets of peaceful Vinnytsia, a city that is part of my Kyiv archeparchy, which I visited not so long ago,” Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said.
The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church spoke at the synod of bishops, which took place in Poland July 7-15.
Shevchuk prayed with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishops present at the synod for the victims of the attack on July 14 on Vinnytsia, a city southwest of Kyiv, and their grieving families.
Among the victims of the Russian missile attack was a four-year-old girl with Down syndrome named Liza, according to the BBC.
GLOBAL is saddened & horrified by the attack on Vinnytsia, Ukraine. A missile strike claimed 23 lives, including 4-year-old Liza Dmitrieva, who had Down syndrome. Our hearts go out to Liza’s mom & all who’ve faced profound loss in this terrible war. https://t.co/HJZv3JnBG3
— Global Down Syndrome (@GDSFoundation) July 15, 2022
The UN Secretary General António Guterres condemned the Russian attack on Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure. The missile strike destroyed a medical center, killing people arriving for treatment and severely wounding two doctors.
In a video message on July 15, Shevchuk said that the “Ukrainian people are crying … for the innocent victims of Vinnytsia.”
“Three Russian missiles hit the city center, the most crowded place of this regional center, where there is a medical facility, a maternity hospital, and other life support facilities,” he said.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is a sui iuris Eastern Catholic Church of the Byzantine rite, which currently has around 51 bishops in its synod. Its bishops carry out pastoral service throughout the world, including in the U.S. and Ukraine.
The synod meeting took place in Przemyśl, a city in southeastern Poland just nine miles from Ukraine’s western border and 60 miles from Lviv. The synod was set to be held in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, before Russia’s invasion and the outbreak of war almost five months ago.
Pope Francis sent a letter to the bishops participating in the synod on July 11 assuring them of his prayers.
“I pray that your Church and your People, who are animated by the power of the sacraments and look to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, do not lose Christian hope in a better tomorrow,” the pope said.
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