By Peter Pinedo

In an exclusive interview with EWTN News in advance of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kyiv-Galicia and the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, pleaded for the president and U.S. lawmakers to renew needed aid to his war-torn country.

“I would like to convey to the president the voice of the simple people of Ukraine who are crying out to God and to the consciousness of the good people of the earth: Please don’t give up Ukraine,” Shevchuk said during a recent interview at the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine of the Holy Family in Washington, D.C.

The Ukrainian patriarch is in the U.S. for a week of meetings with public officials and Church leaders to foster renewed support for Ukraine.

Though he underscored that he wanted to convey “first of all” a “message of gratitude” to the American people from Ukraine, Shevchuk voiced his worry that ordinary Ukrainian people are being forgotten as the prolonged U.S. political debate over continued support for Ukraine has delayed necessary action.

According to Shevchuk there are currently 14.6 million Ukrainians “in urgent humanitarian need.” Instead of thinking of the war in political terms, Shevchuk urged the American people to think of Ukraine in terms of its “simple, suffering people.”

In this context, the patriarch said there is no time for delay. “We cannot say, okay, I’ll eat on the next week,” he said, adding that the Ukrainian Catholic Church “is a main actor in this humanitarian action of assistance to the Ukrainian people, and I can testify that aid cannot be delayed.”

“Each day, probably 200 Ukrainians are killed and any delay of the capability to receive the help to protect those people is paid with their blood.”


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