Cardinal Timothy Dolan Gathers Religious Leaders at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as Sign of Solidarity With Ukraine

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Currents News Staff

From collections at parishes to Catholic organizations on the ground in Ukraine, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan says he can’t remember the world ever being so united.

“There’s a unity in prayer,” Cardinal Dolan said, “secondly there’s a unity in advocacy. This world is standing up and saying this can’t be tolerated.”

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan gathered religious leaders at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan to ramp up efforts to help the people of Ukraine. It’s something the archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church says requires the entire world’s solidarity.

“There’s 10, 11, maybe 12 million people that have left their homes,” said Archbishop Borys Gudziak. “They’ve been forced out of their homes, they’re homeless…. but in addition to that there’s 12 million people that are still in homes but they cannot survive without aid.”

Then there’s the more than 3 million people who have fled the country. The U.S. is saying it will welcome up to 100,000 thousands of them here.

“It’s a start,” said Archbishop Gudziak, “but Poland is a much smaller country, one tenth the size, and it’s received 2 million.”

This offer from the U.S. comes after the government formally accused Russian forces of committing war crimes in Ukraine.

“There have been numerous, credible reports of hospitals, schools, theaters, etceteras being intentionally attacked,” said Beth Van Schaack, U.S. Ambassador at-large for Global Criminal Justice. “The United Nations and other credible observers have confirmed hundreds of civilian deaths and we believe the exact civilian death toll will be in the thousands.”

The Ukrainian ambassador to the U.N. says there’s concern about human trafficking.

“We are not speaking about possibility,” said Serhiy Kyslytsa, “we are speaking about how soon it happens. We are speaking about 3 million Ukrainians scattered across Europe and other countries in the world. They are affected and they are very vulnerable.”

Meanwhile Archbishop Gudziak estimates that with all of the dioceses and Catholic organizations combined, the Church has given more than $50 million dollars in aid to this humanitarian crisis.

“There’s a real unity in relief,” said Cardinal Dolan, “getting the people of Ukraine the supplies and relief they need in a time of suffering.”

The president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association says it has donated just over a million dollars to Ukraine and the neighboring countries who are taking in refugees.