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Philippine bishops call on Catholics to fast, pray on Ash Wednesday for peace in Ukraine

The Philippines supported the United Nations resolution expressing “explicit condemnation” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called on the Filipino faithful to fast and pray for an end to the war in Ukraine.

“The Lord Himself taught us that there is no other way to combat the enticements of the devil especially among those who are obsessed with power, wealth and fame, other than prayer, fasting and acts of charity,” said Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the collegial body.

“We also invoke the intercession of the Blessed Mother as we pray that the Lord move the consciences of the Russian people so that they themselves will be able to do the necessary steps in order to pressure their government to stop the war it has started,” he said.

Pope Francis has earlier called for people to mark the beginning of Lent with fasting and prayer for peace.

The Filipino bishops deplored the war in Ukraine and voiced solidarity with the people in the country who “are now asking for prayers.”

“Nobody is happy about war except those in the arms industries who make huge profits and stand to benefit from the disputes among nations,” said Bishop David in a statement.

A Filipino activist holds a placard during a demonstration in Quezon City on Feb. 28, 2022, to voice condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Jire Carreon)

On Monday, the Philippines supported the United Nations resolution expressing “explicit condemnation” of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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“The Philippines votes Yes to the UNGA resolution and expresses explicit condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine,” read the Philippines’ statement.

“No one can trust news reports of casualties on either side but 14,000 have been killed since 2014,” it noted.

“In the current fog of lies, we have yet to determine the true casualties on both sides,” read the Philippine statement.

“We strongly urge the cessation of hostilities; but while an offense can be stopped at will the defense cannot rest until the offense stops,” it said.

The country also called for “massive assistance commensurate with the growing humanitarian crisis.”

The Philippine statement stressed that the “principle of sovereignty and the sovereign equality of States is enshrined in the UN Charter.”

“All States enjoy the right to full sovereignty in all their areas of jurisdiction,” it said, adding that the Charter of the UN requires sovereign states “to refrain from the use of force against the political independence and territorial integrity of any state.”

It also condemned the use of “separatism and secession as a weapon of diplomacy for inviting and inflicting terrible cruelties and indiscriminate killings far in excess of that of any other kind of conflict.”

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