Stop the violence in Ukraine

JESC statement on the situation in Ukraine and Europe


On behalf of JESC, Luciano Larivera SJ, Secretary for European Affairs, reiterates the need of an innovative diplomatic solution to the war.

“Russia, USA, NATO and the EU need to start finding a realistic and innovative diplomatic solution to the war in Ukraine immediately. China has to participate as well since Beijing has the responsibility to promote peace as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. In addition, the Holy See will offer its service to reach not only reconciliation but also justice for all. However, a good faith negotiation requires that the violence stops.

The Russian Federation has already demonstrated its extremely violent determination and is not bluffing. Unfortunately, the world does not have an effective institution to give a penal judgement for what Russia is doing.

Instead of finding means to better retaliate and make justice by oneself (as Russians declare to  be doing), we all need to have the same purpose: save lives, also those of soldiers, and stop human suffering. All of us must demonstrate to be human if we want our requests of justice to be satisfied. That is not negotiable.”

Pope Francis’ appeal for peace and prayer in Europe

Considering the escalating military actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, both COMECE (Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union) and CCEE (Council of European Bishops’ Conferences) had done their appeal to peace. JESC supports these appeals and recalls the call of Pope Francis at the General Audience on Wednesday, 23 February 2022:

“My heart aches greatly at the worsening situation in Ukraine. Despite the diplomatic efforts of the last few weeks, increasingly alarming scenarios are opening up. Like me, many people all over the world are feeling anguish and concern. Once again the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests. I would like to appeal to those with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war; who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies. I pray that all the parties involved refrain from any action that would cause even more suffering to the people, destabilising coexistence between nations and bringing international law into disrepute.

And now I would like to appeal to everyone, believers and non-believers alike. Jesus taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with God’s weapons, with prayer and fasting. I invite everyone to make next 2 March, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace. I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.”

Luciano Larivera SJ
JESC Secretary for European Affairs