Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh and Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin, as President and Vice-President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have published the following statement to thank the parishes across Ireland for their extraordinary generosity in raising to date of over €3.25 million in response to the crisis in Ukraine. Following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia on 24 February, the Bishops of Ireland asked for a special collection in parishes across the island. This mainly took place over the weekend of 26 and 27 March, as an additional way of helping to address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
The Archbishops said, “Since the outbreak of this war, over 7 million people have been displaced and nearly 5 million people have been forced to emigrate from Ukraine, becoming international refugees. As Christians, our Gospel imperative is to support the victims of this appalling humanitarian crisis, in the words of the Holy Thursday Liturgy, ‘where charity and love are found there is God’.
“The large funds raised by Irish parishes will be channelled to assist those who are suffering such devastation to their lives and livelihoods. Parishes across Ireland have responded with enormous generosity and compassion and we are most grateful for that. It is also heartening that some parish communities have established direct links with Ukrainian parishes and local charitable projects to support refugees and those remaining in Ukraine. The proceeds of this special parish collection are already being sent to the international Catholic Church agency, Caritas Internationalis, which is currently operating on the ground in Ukraine and its surrounding areas.
The Archbishops concluded, “Following the sad news this week that seven people, including two Caritas staff, were killed when a Caritas office in Mariupol was shelled, we wish to acknowledge the bravery of humanitarian workers who risk their lives in providing much needed assistance and protection to innocent people who have been caught up in this war. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathy to their families, friends and fellow humanitarian workers.”