Calls for Peace and Solidarity: War in Ukraine Determines Good Friday Sermons

To: 04/15/2022 19:41

Pope Francis’ Good Friday rituals have been determined by the war on Ukraine. In Germany, both major churches have warned against stepping down in the face of violence. Church leaders called for peace.

Christians around the world commemorated the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday. Pope Francis’ Good Friday rituals were marked this year by the war on Ukraine.

In a celebration marked by silence and seriousness, Pope Francis and around 3,500 believers commemorated the death of Jesus in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. At first, the head of the church prayed motionless in front of the high altar. Due to his knee and hip problems, the pope refrained from lying on the ground, as the liturgy called for at this point.

The Vatican’s decision to allow a Russian woman and a Ukrainian woman to carry the cross at the Stations of the Cross in Rome’s Colosseum has angered Ukrainians. Critics argued that it projected an image of reconciliation as Ukraine suffered from war at the hands of Russia. The two women are friends.

The pope had previously offered to visit Ukraine if it would help bring peace. He sent his chaplain, Polish Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, to the Ukrainian capital of kyiv for a Good Friday procession. Italian television channel Rai TV reported that Krajewski had visited the two places hard hit by the war, Bucha and Borodyanka.

War is the dominant theme in German religious services

The war also determined the Good Friday services of Germany’s two main churches. They warned against resignation in the face of war and violence. The suffering and death of Jesus on the cross is a parable for all the sufferings of the world. Cardinal Reinhard Marx called on the leaders of all Christian churches to “demand an end to violence with one voice” so that we can talk to each other. “Stop the massacres. Stop the brutality of this war,” the Archbishop of Munich and Freising said in Munich’s Liebfrauendom. “This is why we need the unanimous voices of all: Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox.”

Bätzing appreciates the courage of the TV editor

The president of the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg, for example, praised the courage of television editor Marina Owsjannikova, who had protested against the war on Russian information. “The situation reminded me of how Jesus stood before Pilate and said, ‘I was born and came into the world to bear witness to the truth,'” he said in Limburg Cathedral. . And further: “All shameful attempts to suppress what is true and leads to freedom will not succeed in the long run.”

Archbishop Schick: “Jesus designates those who are affected”

Archbishop of Bamberg Ludwig Schick explained that Jesus crucified refers to those affected by war and injustice. In addition to the situation in Ukraine, Schick recalled people from Yemen, Syria, Sudan and Pakistan. Good Friday also raises the question of whether people can still cry, mourn and mourn, the Archbishop added. “We like to be cool, superior and aloof. Can we cry, cry and complain about our world, humanity and creation?”

The Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann, also referred to the “Good Friday situations of our time”. In addition to the people of Ukraine, he named those who “float helplessly in the Mediterranean for days and end up drowning without anyone ever hearing from them again.”

Criticism of Patriarch Cyril

Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx strongly criticized the role of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Cyril I, without naming him directly. It is a perversion “that Christians under the sign of the cross have also exercised violence, that in the present war baptized Christians kill other Christians and still receive support from church leaders”. Systems and civilizations as well as political regimes based on violence could “never be legitimized by Christianity”.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill regularly expresses his closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his support for his war campaign against Ukraine.

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