Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is committing immediate emergency help to support the work of the Church in Ukraine.

“What we all wanted to avoid has happened: Ukraine is in a state of war. ACN has supported the Church in Ukraine during the past and it will not abandon her at this very critical and difficult time,” Thomas Heine-Geldern, executive president of CAN, said.

ACN is supporting with emergency aid the 4,879 priests and religious brothers and 1,350 religious sisters in Ukraine, to enable them to continue their pastoral and outreach programmes.

Furthermore, the pontifical foundation will provide emergency help for the four Greek-Catholic exarchates and the two Latin dioceses in eastern Ukraine, covering Kharkiv, Zaporizhya, Donetsk, Odessa and Krym.

The number of persons in Ukraine who are asking for help from priests and sisters is increasing significantly.The number of persons in Ukraine who are asking for help from priests and sisters is increasing significantly.

“Especially now, ACN has to ensure the presence of priests and religious sisters and brothers with their people, in the parishes, with the refugees, in the orphanages and homes for the vulnerable and for the elderly who, while already poor, will face the added challenge of surviving in a climate of spiralling costs as a result of this war,” the executive president said.

ACN has supported the Church in Ukraine during the past and it will not abandon her at this very critical and difficult time

Mgr Pavlo Honcharuk, bishop of Kharkiv, one of the dioceses in Eastern Ukraine which is under a direct threat of invasion, and which ACN is to support, said: “The situation is getting worse every day.

We live now from hour to hour. Prices are rising, especially for essential goods. The situation is very difficult. The number of persons who are now asking for help from priests and sisters is increasing significantly.”

With the emergency grant, priests and religious men and women would be able to help others in need.

The financial situation in Ukraine has deteriorated since the beginning of the war, eight years ago, but since the crisis began in January, the national currency, the hryvnia, has steadily been devalued and continued to decline after Russia recognised the two breakaway regions led by pro-Russian separatists.

“This conflict is also a psychological war. People need consolation, strength and support. The immediate emergency aid by ACN, in addition to its current support, will strengthen the Catholic Church in Ukraine in its commitment to stay on the ground and keep serving its communities in the face of military and economic war,” Heine-Geldern said.

More information may be obtained from www.acnmalta.org, by calling 2148 7818 or by e-mailing admin@acnmalta.org.

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