WCC appeals to Patriarch Kirill to raise up his voice for peace

The acting Secretary General of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Ian Sauca, addresses a Letter to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow urging him to raise up his voice so that the war in Ukraine can be stopped immediately.

By Lisa Zengarini, Vatican News

As Churches across the world joined in prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine on 2 March, Ash Wednesday, the acting Secretary General of the World Council of Churches (WCC) urged Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to raise up his voice so that the war can be stopped immediately.

Call for mediation

In a letter addressed to the Patriarch Rev. Ian Sauca specifically asked the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to mediate with the authorities supporting a negotiated solution of the conflict.
“The tragic situation of the war in Ukraine has brought tremendous suffering and loss of lives.”

“In these times of hopelessness, many look to you as the one who could bring a sign of hope for a peaceful solution,” wrote the Romanian Orthodox priest reminding that most of the “suffering brothers and sisters” in Ukraine “are also faithful members of our Orthodox Church.”

Lent season: a time of reconciliation

As both Western and Eastern Churches prepare to celebrate the Lenten Season beginning respectively on Ash Wednesday and on the Sunday of Forgiveness, Rev. Sauca points out that these powerful moments of the Christian calendars call “to repentance, peace and reconciliation”.

“While celebrating these spiritual moments, with filial respect and consideration I write to Your Holiness to intervene and mediate with the authorities to stop this war, the bloodshed and the suffering, and to make efforts to bring peace through dialogue and negotiations.”, Sauca concluded.

WCC’s appeals

Since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis leading to the Russian invasion, on 24 February the World Council of Churches (WCC), which gathers Churches, denominations representing more than 500 million Christians, including most of Eastern Orthodox Churches, has intensified its appeals for de-escalation and peace.

On February 25, Rev.Sauca expressed the WCC’s full support to the appeal launched by His Beatitude Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine (the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is linked to the Moscow Patriarchate) who had called directly on President Vladimir Putin to stop aggression, which he likened to Cain’s murder of Abel.