Archbishop William Nolan of Glasgow has called for prayers for the Ukrainian city of Mariupol as Catholic humanitarian workers were killed by a Russian tank.
Caritas Ukraine, the local charitable agency of the Catholic Church, reported that several people were hiding from shelling when the building was hit by a Russian tank, killing seven including two Caritas staff.
Mariupol’s mayor, Vadym Boychenko, recently told the Associated Press that more than 10,000 civilians have died since the city was first besieged by the Russian army.
The city was cut off by Russian forces soon after the invasion in late February, suffering some of the worst violence of the war.
Archbishop William Nolan called on Catholics to pray for the city in his Holy Week message, saying that ‘we are also all too conscious of the pain and suffering being inflicted on so many people today due to the wars and conflicts taking place throughout the world.’
“What a shock to see in Mariupol how quickly a peaceful city can be destroyed and reduced to rubble, its citizens under siege and brought to starvation for lack of food,” he said.
“As we meditate this week on the passion of Christ may we pray for the people of Ukraine, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere who are enduring their passion.
“May we pray for a deep change in the human heart that will overcome our tendency to violence and bring peace to our troubled world.”
In an announcement, SCIAF, the Scottish arm of Caritas, said they were ‘shocked and heart-broken’ to receive news of the deaths.
“Our deepest condolences from the Caritas family in Scotland,” they said.
“We stand in grief and solidarity with their families and the people of Ukraine, and pray for our Caritas colleagues who are courageously working to support those in desperate need.”