Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has sent more than £830,000 to help the Church in Ukraine as it ministers to a country invaded by Russian troops.
Bishop Pavlo Honcharuk of Kharkiv, one of the dioceses in eastern Ukraine that ACN is supporting with emergency help, said: “The situation is getting worse every day. We live now from hour to hour.
“Prices are rising, especially for essential goods. The situation in the diocese is very difficult.
“The number of faithful has decreased and those remaining, unfortunately, cannot maintain the parishes or support the priests. They come themselves and ask for help from the priests and sisters.”
The emergency aid will meet the essential needs – including heating, lighting, water and food – of the diocese’s 57 priests as well as the 54 members of religious communities, enabling them to continue their vital ministry to those struggling to make ends meet.
ACN will be providing these essentials for the four Greek-Catholic exarchates and the two Roman-Catholic dioceses covering the eastern regions of Kharkiv, Zaporizhya, Donetsk, Odesa and Krym.
Bishop Honcharuk added: “People need consolation, strength and support. The immediate emergency grant by ACN, in addition to its current support, will strengthen the Catholic Church in Ukraine in its commitment to stay on the ground and keep serving its flock in the face of military and economic war.”
Dr Thomas Heine-Geldern, international executive president of ACN, stressed the charity’s support for, and solidarity with, its project partners at this crucial moment.
“ACN has supported the Church in Ukraine during the past and it will not abandon her at this very critical and difficult time,” he said. “We wish to assure our prayers for the people of Ukraine that, through the intercession of Our Lady of Peace, they may be spared the pain of further violence and loss of life.”
Caption – A religious Sister distributing urgent relief to those in need (© ACN).