The Catholic priest Father Fergal MacDonagh poured a can of red paint, symbolizing the blood of war victims, on the gates of the embassy on March 4.
After an ecclesiastical supplies company truck reversed into the gates on March 7, Russia’s foreign ministry summoned Ireland’s ambassador to Moscow in protest.
The Irish bishops announced that a special collection for Ukraine would be taken at all Masses on the weekend of March 26-27.
They also encouraged Catholics to donate to Aid to the Church in Need, the Jesuit Refugee Service, and Trócaire, which is working through its partners Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Poland.
The bishops said: “This invasion and aggression reminds us of the fragility of peace, even in Europe, a place that has experienced peace for much of the past seven decades.”
“It is we as the people of Europe, together with the wider world, who must shape history at this crucial moment in time. The inspiration that informed the foundation of the various European institutions and organizations after World War II was peace and the development of economic, social and cultural ties.”
“There is a crying need for the renewal of the ‘soul of Europe’ which must be based on the spiritual sources and roots which inspired those post-war developments.”
The bishops acknowledged an outpouring of prayer for Ukraine since the launch of the full-scale Russian invasion on Feb. 24.
They invited parishes to reach out to Ukrainians in Ireland and elsewhere on the national feast of St. Patrick on March 17.
“At the ‘sign of peace’ at Mass on that day, and for the remainder of Lent, bishops ask priests to call for peace in the world and especially in Ukraine and, after a moment of silence, to invite everyone to offer a gesture or greeting of peace (without the handshake), holding in prayer all who are caught up in this conflict,” they said.
The bishops concluded their statement with a prayer for the people of Ukraine:
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We pray for the people of Ukraine,
For all those suffering or afraid,
that you will be close to them and protect them.
We pray for world leaders,
for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices.
We pray for the world; that in this moment of crisis,
we may reach out in solidarity
to our brothers and sisters in need.
May we walk in your ways
so that peace and justice
become a reality for the people of Ukraine
and for all the world.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
Our Lady of Kyiv, pray for us!