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CEC and COMECE presidents at the Polish-Ukrainian border call for peace and reconciliation

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Press Release No: 08/22 issued jointly with COMECE
08 April 2022

The presidents of CEC and COMECE issue a special Easter message from the Polish-Ukrainian border on 8 April 2022, invoking prayer and action for peace in Ukraine and beyond. “Let us continue to pray and work for justice, reconciliation and peace between people, cultures and nations.”

Rev. Christian Krieger and H.Em. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, presidents of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) respectively, have issued a special joint Easter message from the border between Poland and Ukraine, where they had a two-day visit to some of the facilities welcoming and supporting refugees fleeing from Ukraine due to the Russian invasion that began on 24 February 2022.

The two presidents were touched by the human tragedy reflected in the eyes of the refugees they have encountered during their visit. They also expressed sincere gratitude to all professionals, volunteers, national and religious authorities for the concrete solidarity put into place to welcome and support people who have lost everything due to war.

More than 2 million people, mostly women and children, have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border since the beginning of the war. It is from here, from the Dorohusk-Yahodyn border crossing point between Poland and Ukraine, that, in view of Easter festivities, Rev. Krieger and Card. Hollerich invoked prayer and action for peace in Ukraine and beyond.

“The Paschal mystery of Christ takes us to the heart of injustice, violence and suffering,” reads their message. “The story of Christ’s passion and death echoes human suffering and tragedies experienced in many parts of our world, not least by Ukrainians in their own country and wherever the roads of exile have taken them.”

“In Christ, God joins our humanity, taking upon himself our limitations and our hatred, transforming our impasses, our indignation, our feelings of fatality and despair into hope through trust in him. This transformation takes place within the human being and in the world that God loves.”

This Easter, CEC and COMECE presidents call everyone to “continue to believe in the horizon that God’s grace, manifested in Christ, opens before our eyes.”

During their visit to Poland, the two presidents visited local churches from various confessions, learning about their humanitarian projects and efforts to welcome refugees to the country.

CEC and COMECE presidents were hosted by the Polish Ecumenical Council and the Catholic Bishop of Łódź, Mgr. Grzegorz Ryś.

Watch video: CEC COMECE visit to Polish-Ukrainian border

Read full text: CEC-COMECE joint Easter message

Click here for high-resolution photos

Visit our page on Church response to Ukraine.

For more information or an interview, please contact:

Naveen Qayyum
Communication Officer
Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 486 75 82 36
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.ceceurope.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ceceurope
Twitter: @ceceurope
YouTube: Conference of European Churches
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