Louisville (Agenzia Fides) - On March 4, the Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky (USA), His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Edward Kurtz, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the United States, issued a statement on Ukraine, in which he expresses concern about "the tensions and troubling events" which continue to unfold in the region.
"The bishops of the United States, together with tens of millions of U.S. Catholics of Eastern European descent, join Pope Francis in solidarity and prayers for the people of Ukraine for an end to the current tensions and troubling events which continue to unfold there". The Archbishop still repeats the call of Pope Francis: we all have to "endeavor to overcome misunderstandings and build together the future of the nation".
The statement continues: "The heroic witness of Ukrainian Greek and Latin Catholic leaders, who stand firm for human rights and democracy, gives us hope that peaceful means might prevail to help rebuild civil society.
Over the centuries, Catholics in Ukraine have been severely persecuted, and Catholicism even outlawed. For this reason, we raise our voice in defense of religious liberty in Ukraine, a liberty further threatened by the invasive actions occurring in the country".
On behalf of the Bishops, the Archbishop concludes by asking the U.S. Catholic communities, gathered for the beginning of Lent, "to pray for a peaceful resolution of this crisis, one that secures the just and fundamental human rights". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 05/03/2014)