During Wednesday’s General Audience, Pope Francis expressed gratitude to the Polish people for assisting Ukraine, notably those who remained in a war-ravaged Ukraine, to convey support and hope to its beleaguered citizens.
Polish People’s Humanitarian Assistance to Ukraine
According to the Vatican News, throughout the first year of the conflict in Ukraine, the Polish Catholic Church has participated in various philanthropic endeavors. Archbishop Stanislaw Gdecki, president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, proclaimed his church’s sympathy with all Ukrainians on the first day of the conflict, Feb. 24, 2022. He asked people to pray for them and announced aid collection in all Polish parishes.
It was a collection that had never been seen before in the more than one thousand years that the church had existed in Poland. Archbishop Gdecki has stated that a new collection will occur in churches across Poland on Sunday, Feb. 26, exactly one year after the commencement of the conflict. It will mark the second time that this effort will be made. According to a communiqué, the different gifts, most of which were provided by Caritas, have reached about 2 million people in Ukraine.
As mentioned, the Catholic churches also record amounts of money and essential items collected; hundreds of aid shipments have been sent to Ukraine; refugees are housed in church structures. Also, mental health care is provided; and kindergartens and elementary schools are provided hospitality for children.
On the other hand, the Baptist Standard reported that throughout the past eleven months, the Second Baptist Church in Gdansk, Poland, has assisted in meeting the needs of more than a hundred Ukrainian refugees with the help of mission partners such as the First Baptist Church in Temple. The church helps the refugees with food, medicine, employment assistance, and learning Polish. Second Baptist Church is affiliated with a church in Lutsk that gives aid to Ukrainians who have been forcibly moved within their own country.
Also Read: Pope Francis Tells Ukrainians 9 Months After Start of War With Russia: ‘Your Pain Is My Pain’
A Year After Russia’s War Against Ukraine
As per the press statement of the U.S. Department of State, Ukraine’s fight and its people’s resilience have inspired the globe. Ukraine’s unshakable determination has united people of conscience worldwide and prompted repeated UN appeals for Russia to cease its war of choice. Pres. Putin reportedly ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine a year ago today, following months of duplicity about why Russia had gathered many such troops on Ukraine’s border. Then, Russia’s military illegally entered Ukraine’s sovereign land to conduct a pointless conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and injured millions more.
Pres. Putin’s action has broken families, displaced millions, damaged houses, schools, hospitals, and other civilian infrastructure, exacerbated a worldwide food crisis, destabilized energy markets, and jeopardized international peace and security. The war has destroyed Russia’s economy, prestige, and isolation. This war seeks to annex Ukraine and undermine its democratic development.
As mentioned, the unlawful war was initiated by Pres. Putin, who also can halt it. The United States stands firmly with Ukraine as it defends itself, and it will continue to do so until Ukraine’s sovereignty is recognized. The Ukrainian people can construct their chosen democratic future in peace.
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