Ukraine secures ‘propaganda victory’ by sinking ship says expert
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The procession was due to involve two women, a Ukrainian named Irina and a Russian called Albina who work together at a hospital in Rome, carrying a cross and shaking hands before the reading a meditation they wrote together about death, rage and reconciliation in the face of bombings.
However, the original text of the meditation was scrapped after it was described as “incoherent and offensive” by the head of Ukraine’s Byzantine-rite Catholic Church Major Archbishop Sviatoslov Shevchuk.
The original text of 200 words was replaced with two sentences: “Faced with death, silence is the most eloquent of words.
“Let us all pause in silent prayer and each one pray in their hearts for peace in the world.”
Archbishop Shevchuk described the idea as “inappropriate and ambiguous, and does not take into account the context of military Russian aggression in Ukraine”.
He added: “incoherent and even offensive particularly as we await the second, more bloody attack of Russian troops on our cities and villages.”
The Pope’s gesture of reconciliation has been condemned (Image: Getty)
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— Andrii Yurash (@AndriiYurash) April 12, 2022
He claimed that reconciliation “will only be possible only when the war is over and those guilty of crimes against humanity have faced justice”.
Ukrainian ambassador to the Holy See Andrii Yurash wrote on Twitter that he understood the “concerns in Ukraine and many other communities”.
He said they were “working on the issue [and] trying to explain [the] difficulties of its realisation and possible consequences”.
The Pope has called for peace (Image: Getty)
The Pope has reportedly sought to improve relations with the head of the Russian Orthodox church Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who has been a supporter of Putin, according to Politico.
Apostolic Nuncio for Ukraine Monsignor Visvaldas Kulbokas – the Vatican equivalent of an ambassador – said that protests from Ukraine had been communicated to the Holy See.
He said: “Under the cross we are all children of God, aggressor and attacked, in this case Russia and Ukraine.
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A funeral for a Ukrainian war victim (Image: Getty)
“The churches and religious organisations in Ukraine wish to work towards reconciliation, however, they know that they will only be able to talk about it when the aggression stops.”
While the Pope has condemned the military action in Ukraine, he has avoided directly calling out Putin.
The invasion of Ukraine is expected to “cast a shadow” over the Vatican’s Easter celebrations, reported Reuters.
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