Russia has prided itself on its revival of Orthodox Christianity after decades of Soviet persecution, but a war with the Ukraine could splinter the Russian Orthodox church.
NCR Today: Seattle archdiocese personal info breached; crisis in Ukraine; Catholics in Crimea fear Russian rule; Catholic, Anglican churches unite to end modern-day slavery.
Received the following press release this afternoon:
Three Archbishops to Join Faithful in Prayer Service for Peace in Ukraine;
Service will be held Sunday, March 16 at 5 PM in Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia;
For more information contact:
Rev. John M. Fields, 570-875-9061
Director of Communications
215-627-0143 ext. 22, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell phone 570-875-9061
A Ukrainian Catholic priest in Crimea said church members are alarmed and frightened by the Russian military occupation and fear their communities might be outlawed again if Russian rule becomes permanent.
Fr. Mykhailo Milchakovskyi, a pastor in Kerch, Ukraine, described the atmosphere as tense because many residents of the town located in the eastern part of Crimea were unsure of their future.
"No one knows what will happen. Many people are trying to sell their homes and move to other parts of Ukraine," Milchakovskyi told Catholic News Service on Wednesday.
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Russia's aggression against Ukraine is an extremely dangerous situation that should be of concern to all Americans.
The families of Catholic troops serving with Ukrainian and Russian forces were "deeply confused and worried" about the military confrontation in the Crimean peninsula.
In addition to prayers, Pope Francis urged the parties involved in the conflict to engage in dialogue.
The three months of protests in Ukraine that ended with government snipers killing dozens of people strengthened the commitment to democracy of many Ukrainians, but also left the country vulnerable to further violence and division, said the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
"The danger that our neighbor (Russia) will provoke a civil war has not passed," Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych told reporters in Rome Feb. 25, adding that the protests have solidified the Ukrainian people's commitment to independence, freedom and democracy.
A day after at least 75 people were reported killed in clashes between police and protesters in Ukraine's capital, Pope Francis asked the College of Cardinals to send a message of support to the two Ukrainian cardinals who are suffering because their people are.