Ukraine war: Poland’s Catholic bishops condemn attacks on civilians

A plenary meeting of the Polish bishops’ conference on March 15, 2022 A plenary meeting of the Polish bishops’ conference on March 15, 2022. |

Poland’s Catholic bishops on Wednesday condemned attacks against civilians by Russian forces in Ukraine.

In a statement issued after their March 14-15 plenary meeting in the Polish capital Warsaw, the bishops lamented “Russia’s unjustified aggression against Ukraine.”

“Deeply moved by the tragedy of war, we strongly condemn the attacks against the civilians, which are causing great loss of life, especially among women and children,” they said.

“We call on those responsible for the outbreak of the aggression against the state and people of Ukraine to stop hostilities as soon as possible and to make efforts to conclude a just peace.”

The U.N. human rights office said on March 15 that it had recorded 1,834 civilian casualties in Ukraine, with 691 people killed and 1,143 injured. It said that the actual figures were likely to be considerably higher.

The bishops thanked Poles for welcoming the more than 1.8 million people who have entered Poland from Ukraine since the full-scale Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

Almost 1,000 Catholic convents in Poland are helping refugees from Ukraine.

Parishes and other Church institutions are also opening their doors to the stream of refugees crossing the 332-mile border with Ukraine. They include the former residence of St. John Paul II in Kraków, southern Poland.

“We wholeheartedly thank all people, and especially Caritas Poland and the diocesan Caritas, who have given from the very beginning self-sacrificing and selfless assistance and continue helping to our sisters and brothers in Ukraine and those coming to Poland to seek refuge with us from the horrors of the war,” the bishops said.

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