Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen. -George Orwell

Thursday, February 12, 2015


National Review's Jim Geraghty and Radio America's Greg Corombos discuss current events: Congress passes the Keystone Pipeline bill and sends it to President Obama, American embassy officials flee Yemen, and Vladimir Putin claims Ukrainian rebels will honor a new ceasefire.

For Catholics in Ukraine 'the situation in the war zones is catastrophic'
According to Bishop Shyrokoradiuk, more than 18 million people live in his diocese, including about 60,000 Roman Catholic Christians.
"We are a missionary Church," he said. "Twenty years ago, we didn't have a single parish; today there are more than 50. The faithful have Ukrainian, Polish, Russian as well as Vietnamese roots."
The parochial work of the diocese is focused on pastoral as well as social and humanitarian tasks: "We receive shipments of relief supplies and medicine from Western Europe. We need this help, Christian solidarity, but also political aid," said Bishop Shyrokoradiuk.
He is worried about the rising tide of refugees from the war zones, estimating there are more than 20,000 in Kharkiv at this time.
"We are trying to help where we can. Just a few weeks ago, we were at least able to give 300 pairs of shoes to children."
But Bishop Shyrokoradiuk's influence is limited. To his knowledge, the aid intended for people in the self-proclaimed People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk does not reach those in need. 
In western Ukraine, Bishop Vitaliy Skomarovsky of Lutsk also sees the consequences of the battles in the East.
"The war may seem far away. But in reality, many young men from the western part of the country have joined the war. Just recently, a row of fir trees was felled in the cemetery of Lutsk to bury 13 young soldiers."
Other cities have also buried soldiers killed in the line of duty. According to Bishop Skomarovsky, the Church is taking care of the bereaved as well as those families whose fathers have gone East as soldiers.
"The war is ever-present. We notice that financial resources are being used for it; many things in the social sector have been stopped. However, people are now doing a lot more on their own initiative, solidarity is growing among the people," Bishop Skomarovsky said.
Warm clothing, among other things, has been collected because many soldiers in the East are inadequately equipped and feel as though they have been abandoned.
With 35 parishes and 25,000 faithful, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lutsk is the smallest in Ukraine. Until World War II, it was part of the Polish territory of Volhynia. Ukrainian nationalists carried out a number of massacres of the predominantly Polish population in the region, beginning in mid-July 1943. These were tolerated by the German occupying force. More than 50,000 people were killed.
As a result of the massacres, many Catholic parishes are still deserted today...
Also read:

Ukraine Deal: Keeping Russia In, U.S. Out

Will Ukraine Ceasefire Hold? Unlikely...

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