For more than a month there has been a peaceful protest in Ukraine. It began as a demonstration for the European choice of the country, and continued as a nationwide protest against the excesses of the current government. Ukrainians want to live in a free democratic country without corruption, without lies, without violence. Independence Square (Maidan) in Kyiv has become the main platform from where the Ukrainians fight for their rights and call out to the world.
Although the protest, which was attended by millions of Ukrainians, is peaceful, blood was shed. On November 30, the Berkut special forces unit brutally dispersed a rally using disproportionate force; on December 1, during a provocation near the Presidential Administration, dozens of peaceful demonstrators and journalists were wounded. Protestor Pavlo Mazurenkov died in the intensive care unit from being beaten. An activist from Kharkiv, Dmytro Pylypets, ended up on the operating table with twelve stab wounds. Journalist Tetiana Chornovol was beaten half to death by unknown persons. Several activists remain in detention. The Ukrainian question has ceased to be political. It is an issue of the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.
We are journalists. We are Christians. We have a dual obligation: to be witnesses to the truth and be witnesses of love. Conscious of the situation in Ukraine, in our homeland, we have no right to remain silent. Conscious of the anger, despair, and pain of many of our fellow citizens, we have no right to deprive them of words of consolation, solidarity, and love.
God is love, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Good Shepherd, whose voice His sheep know. Today His voice in the words of His Vicar is very necessary for all Ukrainians. To wipe away the tears, to not betray neighbors, to not respond to evil with hatred. We wholeheartedly strive to bring that voice to the people. Please help us!
In this difficult moment in the history of our country, we, the a community of Ukrainian Catholic journalists, urge our colleagues in all countries to express their Christian solidarity, to thoroughly cover the events surrounding the Ukrainians’ peaceful protest against injustice and violence; we ask the Catholic hierarchs all over the world to devote at least one moment of their attention to our fellow citizens, to speak in their defense in the community of the local church.
It hurts to be humiliated, beaten, rejected, ignored. But it hurts a lot more when your brothers do not notice this, when around you is dead silence, when no one stands up for you even with just words.
In a special way, we turn to our colleagues who work in the Vatican. We are well aware that your task is to inform the world about the activities of the Holy Father. One who aspires to be a bishop of the abused and discarded, a deputy for the weak. It has already been a month that Ukraine, located in the heart of Europe, has been home to the oppressed, beaten, those who weep, who are eager for truth and justice. Let us hear the voice of the Shepherd directed toward us in these days! Please help us bring him our request! We want to hear the words of the Peter of our time, delivered, in order to strengthen the brethren in faith.
The heart of the Universal Church beats in the Vatican. The heart of Ukraine bleeds today. We need to hear what these two hearts beat in unison. We need to tell this to Ukraine and the world. We need words from the heart, to the heart.
We transfer this petition and our hope to you and know that we can count on your brotherly love, support, and compassion. Thank you for that!
How can you help us?
- Write about the situation in Ukraine. The question long ago went beyond the political crisis and the European aspirations of our country. This is a question of perpetual human rights violations, crimes against journalists and civic activists, mass beatings that remain unpunished. Write, so that the world knows.
- As the faithful of your church, contact hierarchs so that they pay attention to the churches in Ukraine, support them through words and through prayer.
- As citizens of different states, contact leaders. We thank everyone for the words of support that were heard over the course of this month, but we do not want this voice to fade, but rather have it become clearer.
- We ask you to pray – jointly and individually.
These days the world is celebrating Christmas – the Sacrament of God’s love and trust in the people. We believe that in God’s plan this difficult time for Ukraine will lead to drastic changes, and we will all be proud that we became participants or witnesses to these events. But night is the darkest before dawn. Now is the darkest night in the history of independent Ukraine. Help us bring the dawn.