By Reinhard Backes, ACN International
March 21, 2014 – The international Catholic pastoral charity “Aid to the Church in Need” ACN is granting the Archdiocese of Kiev and the Crimean Diocese of Odessa-Simferopol emergency aid totalling $ 92,550. Two thirds of this sum is needed among other things for care of the sick, psychological assistance and medications. One third will be made available to military chaplains for petrol and other transport costs, especially for transfers between the mainland and the Crimean peninsula. “In view of the persisting critical situation in Ukraine, the Archdiocese of Kiev and the Diocese of Odessa-Simferopol have asked us for support,” Magda Kaczmarek, head of the relevant national section, confirmed. Auxiliary Bishop Jacek Pyl of Odessa-Simferopol had earlier made a dramatic appeal to all parties to the conflict in Crimea to renounce violence.
Bishop Pyl’s actual words were: “I am calling on all the people both faithful and the others that in the name of the solidarity with the heritage of our Fathers, who cared for the development of our Autonomous Republic of Crimea, to stay away from extremisms and in this hard time do not let the brotherhood among Crimean people to be broken. In ARoC we have Ukrainians, Russians, Crimean Tartars, Armenians, Poles, Germans, Czechs and many others living peacefully together. For many centuries we had the Orthodox, Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Karaims, people of other denominations together with atheists living in Crimea. We cannot let our ethnical background nor our religion to divide us now. We are children of the same God; the only God, who is our common Father.”