The Archbishop of New York has voiced his support for protestors in the Ukraine.
Writing on his blog, Cardinal Timothy Dolan hailed the bravery of Ukrainians who “deserve our voice and our prayers.” He said: “We Catholics in the United States cannot let these brave Ukrainians, whose allegiance to their religious convictions has survived “dungeon, fire, and sword,” languish. They deserve our voices and our prayers.”
He added: “Nor can we as American citizens fail them, as we call for our government to stand with them.”
Protests gripped the Ukraine after the government reject an accord with the EU in favour of stronger ties with Russia.
The protests grew violent on Wednesday when two people were shot dead.
Cardinal Dolan said: “What began as inspirational, prayerful, peaceful, powerful protest, dubbed the Euro Maiden Movement, characterized by prayer and song led by Jewish, Orthodox, and Catholic clergy, has turned brutal and nasty, with government thugs relishing the chance to bludgeon and harass the hundreds of thousands of patriotic Ukrainians, and oppressive laws quickly passed to suppress freedoms.
“Two men I deeply admire — the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kiev, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, and Bishop Borys Gudziak, one of the founders of the promising Catholic University of Ukraine — keep in touch. They’ve been leaders urging peace and restraint, while prophetic on behalf of human dignity, civil rights, and the place of religion in the reconstruction and renewal of Ukraine. They are near tears, and look in vain for allies in their noble cause.”