Glory to Jesus Christ!
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
Today is 12 March 2022 and Ukraine is experiencing the seventeenth day of this horrific war. War is always a defeat to humanity. War is always a moment of misfortune when human dignity is humiliated. When we fight for peace, we can attain everything. When war begins, we can lose everything.
Today in Ukraine we see a huge disdain for human dignity. Humanity is being destroyed, the human being is being dehumanized. Especially the being of those who began this war. He who begins war becomes lesser with regard to his own humanity. He who kills another destroys first of all humanity within himself, he destroys his own human dignity.
What can we, as Christians, do to oppose such contempt for the human person during the war in Ukraine? First of all, today we should undertake acts of mercy. We should do everything possible to express our respect for the dignity of the human person. Today we pray for our Ukrainian army which is defending and confirming this dignity. Today we pray for the civilian population of Ukraine, for our refugees, for those who have stayed behind in cold and besieged cities and villages without water, without food, without warmth. We remember them and want to help them.
Today Ukraine is fighting for humanitarian corridors, so that it might be possible to rescue the person, respecting the person’s dignity, without regard to the language they speak, or the nation to which they belong, or the church they attend.
Today in Ukraine there is a war for the dignity of the human person.
Today we have encountered yet another great challenge, the disrespect of the dignity of the human person. We know that to bury the dead is one of the expressions of mercy for the body of one’s neighbour. We are now confronted with the blaring fact that those who have set foot on Ukrainian land, the Russian aggressor, does not respect the bodies of their own dead. They do not wish to show due honour to those who have died in Ukraine, despite the fact that our volunteers, our good people, wish to give back the bodies of the dead Russian soldiers, but no one wants to receive them and bury them with dignity.
In Ukraine we truly see mountains of corpses, rivers of blood, and seas of tears. With pain in our hearts, we see how in besieged cities, for example in Mariupol, thousands of people are laid to rest without prayer, without Christian honour, without a Christian burial, in enormous, unnamed mass graves with thousands of people. According to official statistics, in Mariupol alone almost one and a half thousand peaceful inhabitants have died in the last few days and who were buried in common mass graves. How important it is for us today to express our respect for the bodies of those killed, whether soldiers or civilians! The bodies of our Ukrainian soldiers are met by our people on bended knee when they are returned to their towns, to their villages, to their families.
For this reason today, on this Saturday, I call upon all our priests, all our faithful in Ukraine and throughout the world, to pray the memorial services for the dead as a sign of honour for those who have been killed on the lands of Ukraine as a result of this barbaric and horrific war.
Let us pray today for those over whom church bells did not ring, who were laid in mass graves without mourning. Let us pray for those over whom the Christian prayer for the deceased was not said. Let us express our compassion, even for the bodies of the dead, so that we might preserve the person and human dignity in Ukraine.
May their memory be everlasting!
May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His grace and love for humankind, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to Jesus Christ!