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Ukrainian Catholic bishop: Election was ‘fruit of the revolution’

By on Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Petro Poroshenko has claimed outright victory in the presidential ballot (PA)

Petro Poroshenko has claimed outright victory in the presidential ballot (PA)

The Ukrainian Catholic Church has welcomed the victory of a billionaire confectionary tycoon in the country’s presidential election and praised the previous interim government for holding Ukraine together in “dramatic circumstances”.

“These elections reveal the maturity of Ukrainian society and show it’s willing and able to take responsibility for the homeland,” said Bishop Bohdan Dzyurakh, secretary-general of the Ukrainian Catholic Synod of Bishops.

Ukrainians are ready to make decisions about their future “freely and democratically, without interference from outside, and this is the fruit of the revolution… which happened earlier this year,” he said.

Petro Poroshenko, 48, claimed outright victory in Sunday’s presidential ballot after securing 56 percent of votes on a 60 percent turnout.

Bishops Dzyurakh said he believed the new head of state, a Christian, would be “sympathetic to Catholics and open to all confessions” and able to “organise a new life” for the country.

“Of course, he’s taking over the Ukrainian state at the most dramatic time in its 23 years of independence, when an undeclared war is being waged against us by Russia,” said Bishop Dzyurakh. “But the Ukrainian nation has shown a great capacity for consolidation, and will be able to mobilise around the person it’s shown trust and confidence in.

“Unity will be Ukraine’s strength and guarantee the success of reforms which our state and society now urgently need,” he added

The election took place three months after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych fled Ukraine amid street protests after resisting calls for closer ties with the European Union, and two months after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

In the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, armed separatists who had claimed independence after staging local referendums were reported to have disrupted the election and destroyed ballot boxes.

Heavy gunfire was reported in Donetsk on Monday, with military aircraft overhead, after pro-Russia militiamen halted flights at the local airport.

Bishop Dzyurakh said he believed Poroshenko would be accepted in eastern Ukraine. He said it was a “positive signal” the president-elect had promised to pay his first visit to the troubled Donbass region.

“We must distinguish between the bandit and terrorist groups active there and the local people who reject violence, even if they took part in the illegal referendums,” the bishop said.

“The new president must stop the undeclared war being waged there by separatists with Russia’s support and liberate Donetsk and other areas from the terrorists who are destroying this country. They’re part of Ukraine, and the new head of state must restore peace, security and development there as soon as possible.”

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  • Paul

    How has Russia started a war with Ukraine? The democratic elected president was ousted by Radical group right sector in a violent coup. The maiden snipers were hired by the opposition there are telephone conversations to prove this. Plus the Crimea region which holds russias entire naval base was expected to be in their hands. Read the times and stop just listening to western media. Rjussia would never give up its navy into the hands of a forced coup. Russia didn’t send any troops into Ukraine either. This whole scenario stinks and people are still being killed by a western imposed government that just wants to control the region. People should start being honest and speak up about the real issue here. Western regime change on the political map to forward American interests and its failing economy. Disguised as a revolution and killing eastern and southern ukranians who oppose facism. Wake up and smell the sheep………….
    our Lady of Fatima pray for us

  • Paul R

    As a Catholic in the West, the events that have unfolded in the Ukraine is very confusing. Clearly, Russia is portrayed as the villain, the instigator during and after the protests. Looking at this as a Catholic, of course I want to support the Ukrainian Catholic Church, for decades during communist rule, the Church endured horrific oppression and injustices.

    What I’m trying to understand is how turning to the EU can be that much better. Catholicism and Christianity for that matter is not flourishing in these member nations. The goal of separation of Church and state is near completion. The Socialist nations have chosen to go at it alone without partnership with the Church, solve all of societies problems with central governments backed by central bankers who bankrupt and drown these nations in debt. Furthermore, the EU and America have meddled in many affairs in the Middle East where clearly they were on the wrong side of the truth and even criminal when you look at what happened in Iraq and Libya. Contrast that with Russia’s involvement in the ME. Had Russia not backed Syria, the West probably would have invaded there as well, siding with a rebellion made up of Al-Quada thugs.

    Had the previous government been voted out, then by all means, that’s how democracy should work. Somethings not right here, and my concern is the Ukranian bad blood with the Russians is diverting their attention away from a not so friendly ally to Faith. The Secular West.

  • James M

    Sweet !

  • la catholic state

    We need to pray for the revival of Christendom. I wonder would Ukranian Catholics agree with that?! Or indeed would most Western Catholics?! A religion that’s purely private is an insult to God.

  • vito

    good. Let’s pray that the pro-Russian terrorist garbage is cleaned up in the eastern region pretty soon and the country can return to normal life.

  • la catholic state

    Our Lady of Fatima please pray for peace in the Ukraine…..and please pray for Russia.

    The Pope’s peace making efforts are needed here now.

  • Paul

    Last time I checked a terrorist was someone who oppresses a peoples with terror and harm. How has anyone in the east or southern regions done this they are being victimised for objecting facism. And you are actually praying for their harm? what are you Christian or satanic? have you not read what happened in ossestia in that building which was burned to the ground and you want to pray for that? A military operation on everyday citizens, including women and children. you seriously must wonder why your prayers are never answered.
    Our lady of Fatima pray for us