Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Mar 15, 2022 / 17:15 pm
Ukrainian Catholic leaders have been urging Pope Francis to take the dramatic step to consecrate both Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and will lead a nine-day novena to prepare for the March 25 event, a top prelate in the war-ravaged country told CNA Tuesday.
“We are very happy by the fact that the Holy Father responded positively to the request of the Bishops of the Latin Catholic Church, all its priests, and all its people,” said Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki of Lviv, Ukraine.
“For this ceremony we want to prepare our people with a novena that will start on March 17,” he added. “We are calling all Christians in Ukraine to join this novena, and we would be very grateful if the whole Church around the world would join us in prayer for this intention.”
Mokrzycki in the interview also appeared to try to carefully navigate around the decades-long controversy over the validity of St. Pope John Paul II's 1987 consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, saying he believed it was done properly but that it would be beneficial to repeat in order to secure peace again, after the latest outbreak of war.