Croatian Catholic Bishops Deplore Russian Aggression Against Ukraine

By 20 April 2022
Croatian Catholic Bishops Deplore Russian Aggression Against Ukraine
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ZAGREB, 20 April 2022 - The Iustitia et Pax (Justice and Peace) Commission of the Croatian Catholic Bishops' Conference on Wednesday condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine and against European values in general, expressing Christian solidarity with Ukraine.

The Russian Federation's all-out attacks against Ukraine amount to the crime of aggression against an independent, sovereign and democratic state, against the fundamental European values and the democratic right of a country to self-determination and against the fundamental Christian values of justice and peace, reads the Commission's statement.

Presenting the document, the Commission's secretary Vladimir Dugalić and member Stjepan Baloban said that the brave resistance of Ukrainian defenders has become the struggle for Europe's freedom and democracy.

The two priests expressed hope that the "Calvary of the Ukrainian nation will result in the resurrection of peace and freedom." 

They conveyed their Christian closeness and solidarity with the Ukrainian people and ethnic Ukrainians in Croatia.

The Commission supports the efforts of the democratic world to offer assistance in the form of shipments of military equipment and weaponry to Ukrainian defenders in their just cause.

The assistance must remain within the framework of proportionality and international humanitarian law so as to keep the conflict under control and prevent it from escalating into a world war, the two priests said.

The Commission says that a difficult task lies ahead for politicians to strike a balance between solidarity and necessary military self-constraint against a backdrop of threats of the use of nuclear weapons which can be disastrous for the entire humankind.

The priests warned that the diplomatic efforts have not attained their goals, warning that the consequences of the war would certainly be felt in the long run.

Dugalić and Balaban said that the Russian aggression cannot be justified by "higher metaphysical" objectives, adding that it is encouraging to see that more and more Russian citizens are expressing their disapproval of the current policy, despite mass repression.

It would be wrong to blame the whole Russian people for the present situation while the responsibility lies with the political regime and a group of citizens and certain Russian Orthodox dignitaries who support the regime, the priests said.

They called on other religious communities to join the Catholic Church in the condemnation of war destruction and mass killings and to accept Ukrainian refugees.

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