Monsignor Yazlovetsky (Kyiv): “The pope has won the respect of the Ukrainian people. Now, more ”/ from the world / home



M. Chiara Biagioni

Per Kyiv, You enter from the west. The Russians, on the other hand, have. But there is a line to enter the city and the military guards the streets. SIR reached Monsignor by telephone Alexander Yazlovetsky, The auxiliary bishop of Kiev just as he is driving from Gtomir to the capital. After the first days of the war, the diocese decided to split: Bishop remained in Kiev, Bishop of Gitomir. Here, too, at the heart of the war, came a letter from the pope urging bishops around the world to unite the clergy and the people for this glorious consecration of Mary. But here we understand how to do it precisely, because – as Monsignor Yazlovetsky explained – there is a curfew that must be respected and it is not possible to gather people. “We are extremely grateful to the Holy Father for this gesture that will be felt all over the world, and as believers we believe that this is a great opportunity to open the hand of our lady and ask for the miracle of peace.” Many here believe that this war, which began at the beginning of Lent, will end in Easter. They are sure that we will celebrate Easter with joy. “

Yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had an interview with Pope Francis and invited him to Kiev. Do you think that is possible?

I don’t think it’s possible. We have been inviting the pope for over a year now and we are praying for this intention. But now it is not a matter of inviting the pope. We do not have many holy fathers, we have only one. Cardinal Krazevsky also failed to get here. He said he would get as far as possible but he stopped after Lviv and had to go back. We are most concerned about the safety of Pope Francis. Building and destroying roads, there are many troops. Gathering people is also dangerous. Unfortunately, the Russians do not stop at anything. We are afraid to gather people in the parish for fear that something could come down at any moment. Sirens sounded all over Ukraine and mostly day and night. We must hide. It is not possible to gather people to greet the Holy Father at this time. I heard our ambassador say it would be nice to welcome Pope Francis but there is no sanctity for the Russians. There are no saints or churches for them.

Do you think they will stop?

I heard a while ago that a woman wrote a letter to the bishops asking them to print Rublev’s icon of the Trinity, which is highly respected in Russia, and to hang it in buildings and churches to stop the Russians. But to this day the Russians have destroyed many churches, including the Orthodox Church in Moscow. The day before yesterday, 33 people had arrived from Chernihiv, a town after Kiev on the Russian border. They came with dirty, hungry, serious faces, without eyes. They had been in hiding for days. They say they saw two shots fired at a church in a Russian tank that burned. That church belonged to the Moscow Patriarch.

There has been no Sunday since the war that the pope has not applied for Ukraine. How important are these words to you?

These appeals are important not only for Catholics, but also for all Ukrainians, Orthodox, non-believers. Every gesture of friendship, every gesture of support, every country that expresses its closeness, is appreciated. The Holy Father was immediately very clear in his position, unequivocally revealing how he viewed this war. And so it is very much appreciated. But it was before the war, not now. From the beginning of his pontificate, gradually, with his humble style, his closeness to the poor, the pope gained the respect of the Ukrainian people. Now, more.

It’s been three weeks since the war began. Are you tired

Yes, we are tired. We can’t wait for it to end but unfortunately it looks like this war will be long.

Which one has impressed you the most in recent weeks?

In Gtomire, the soldiers tried to attack from Belarus with soldiers and tanks but our soldiers fought like lions and resisted. I hear the sound of bombs and then when we go to that place, we see the school and the building destroyed. We celebrate the funeral. We follow the news mainly from Kharkiv, Mariupol, Chernihiv.

What do you ask about churches in Italy?

First of all, we ask you to pray because this war is not easy. It is a war of good against evil, a war of light against darkness. It is a war against Christian values: it does not stop in front of anything and stops in front of anyone, women and girls are killed, churches are destroyed. It is also a war against the values ​​of the European Union to which we have turned our attention. For us, as believers, prayer is important because only God and our lady can do this miracle of peace. We also want to pray for the conversion of our people. He can come out of this war not only with the destroyed cities but with a converted heart to God. We pray that they will discover God as a precious Father. We ask you to pray for the transformation of Russia. And then I want to say a word to our refugees who are fleeing: welcome them.

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