Italian bishops join CCEE’s call to pray for peace in Ukraine

Ahead of the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine, on February 24, the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) is inviting its members to celebrate a special Mass for the restoration of peace on March 10. Prayer, fasting and charity are the only real weapons capable of transforming people's hearts, say Italian bishops.

By Vatican News staff reporter

As the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine approaches, Churches in Europe and in Ukraine are calling on the faithful to intensify their prayers for peace.

The Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) has invited its members to celebrate a special Mass for the victims and for the restoration of peace, on March 10.

Closeness to the Ukrainian people

The celebration “will offer an opportunity to renew our closeness to the Ukrainian people and to entrust our yearning for peace to the Lord”, reads a statement by the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), that has joined the initiative.

According to the Italian Bishops, a diplomatic solution is urgent “to put an end to an international crisis which is aggravated by the nuclear threat”.

“One year after the Russian invasion of an independent state, we want to once again repeat our resolute ‘No’ to all forms of violence and oppression, our ’war never again’”, continues the statement.

Urgent need for diplomatic action to end  the sterile logic of confrontation 

“While on the one hand diplomatic action to break the sterile logic of confrontation is urgently needed, on the other all believers must feel involved in the construction of a peaceful, just and supportive world”, CEI says.

“Lent reminds us of the value of prayer, fasting and charity, the only real weapons capable of transforming people's hearts and making us ‘all brothers’”, concludes the statement. “By asking for the conversion of the heart, so that a renewed culture of peace may be built, we will bring the Easter buds for which we are preparing into the world.”

Day of prayer and fasting in Ukraine on 24 February

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO) has called for a national day of fasting and prayer for peace in Ukraine on February 24. “On the anniversary of the full-scale invasion, a mighty prayer should be heard to break the evil that has risen against Ukraine”, a statement reads . “The Almighty and loving God will always answer the fervent prayer of believers”.


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21 February 2023, 16:10