Meeting in London, on Friday 4 March 2022, the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, issued an appeal for peace in Ukraine. They said, “In the face of the shocking loss of life, bloodshed, displacement of people and destruction of property in Ukraine, we make these heartfelt appeals.

“We ask our Catholic communities to sustain the prayer and self-denial of Lent as a constant offering to God, begging for an end to this pointless violence.

“We ask our fellow Christians everywhere, including Patriarch Kirill and all in the Russian Orthodox Church, to join in solidarity with us in daily spiritual and practical efforts for a ceasefire, for humanitarian outreach and the silencing and laying down of weapons.

“We ask all who have an instinct for God to raise their hearts and minds in prayer for peace.

“We urge everyone to open their hearts and respond generously to the many appeals for help and support for all who are fleeing their homeland.  We call on the UK and Irish governments to offer an open and generous welcome to those who seek refuge in the face of this warfare.”

The statement was signed by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales; Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Dermot Farrell of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference; and, Bishop Hugh Gilbert and Bishop John Keenan of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

ENDS