Ukrainian Catholic leader invites pope, says visit could bring peace

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February 24, 2015

People gather for commemoration of those killed in Ukrainian protests in 2014

People gather Feb. 20 in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, to commemorate those killed in Euromaidan protests in 2014. (CNS photo/Valentyn Ogirenko, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church invited Pope Francis to visit the war-torn nation, saying it would help bring peace.

“It would be a prophetic gesture that would show the power of prayer and Christian solidarity, give us courage and hope and build a better future for everyone,” said Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kiev-Halych.

On behalf of Catholics, Orthodox Christians and “people of goodwill” in Ukraine, the archbishop personally invited the pope, telling journalists Feb. 23 that such a visit would “bring peace to that part of Eastern Europe soaked with the blood of so many martyrs for the unity of the church.”

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