An archbishop from Ukraine criticized Vatican leaders for seeking a reconciliation between Russia and Ukraine despite the Russian forces' continued attacks.
Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk denounced "Vatican dreamers" who are calling for a premature reconciliation between the embattled Ukraine and Russia despite the Russian military obliterating Ukrainian cities. Shevchuk was interviewed by Radio Ukraine on Friday, during which he remarked, "To be reconciled, one must at least be alive."
Shevchuk's comments came after the Vatican's Via Crucis or Way of the Cross celebrations on Friday in Rome's Colosseum, during which a Russian and a Ukrainian woman came together to carry the cross for the thirteenth station, which garnered indignation among the Ukrainian people, Breitbart reported.
"Some of those Vatican dreamers who dream of peace between nations, brotherhood, and unity came up with the idea of making gestures of reconciliation between Russians and Ukrainians along the Way of the Cross," Shevchuk said, adding that the gesture was replicated in other countries such as Italy, Poland, and Germany.
"When we are all expecting another offensive by Russian troops on Ukraine, such gestures are in principle impossible," Shevchuk argued. "After all, to be reconciled, you must at least be alive."
The Ukrainian archbishop underscored that his country is still in "an active phase of such a deadly war," during which it is not the right time to "talk about reconciliation." He argued. "We must first stop killing each other, and then we can talk about the next steps."
After the ceasefire, the archbishop said the next step would be "to convict the offender and establish justice," during which "crimes against Ukraine must be convicted by an international tribunal." He added that reconciliation can only be achieved "after the conviction of the Russian aggressor."
Finally, Shevchuk concluded that "without sensitivity to the victim of this unjust aggression, we have no Christian right to speak of reconciliation."
Meanwhile, a separate Breitbart report said that Pope Francis has denounced Russia's "cruel and senseless war" on Sunday during his Easter address and blessing before a 50,000-strong crowd in Saint Peter's Square. Describing the season as an "Easter of war," the Pope implored people to commit to peace and urge global leaders to recognize calls for peace.
Despite the Easter weekend, Russian forces continued its unprovoked assault on several cities in Ukraine. According to Reuters, Russia said on Monday that it targeted hundreds of military targets in Ukraine SUnday night, launching air missiles to destroy command posts. Authorities in Lviv said that six people have died from the missile attack.
The Russian defense ministry announced that it successfully destroyed 16 Ukrainian military facilities in the Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions and in the Mykolayiv port. They added that the Russian air force launched strikes in 108 areas in which Ukrainian forces were concentrated, striking 315 Ukrainian military targets in the night.
Because Russia had been driven back in the north by Ukrainian defenses, they have resorted to focusing on their ground offensive in two eastern provinces. About four million Ukrainians have left the country, while thousands have perished since Russia's unprovoked assault that began on February 24.