To the Editor:
I agree with the OSV article in The Catholic Messenger of 3/02/23 that deplores the suffering of the people of Ukraine throughout their history and in the ongoing war. The violence and destructiveness of war is never an answer to differences that can be solved through diplomacy that respects the rights of both sides of a problem situation.
As Ukranian Archbishop Borys Gudziak said, “The road to peace will not be easy.” This is true of all wars. However, this war was completely avoidable from its start, followed by the Minsk Agreements negotiated by Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany in 2015, agreements that dealt with treatment of Russian citizens in eastern Ukraine by a nationalist Ukrainian faction. The war could end through a peace proposal offered by China based upon principles embedded in the United Nations Charter.
Unfortunately, interest in restoring peace with justice is being undercut by militaristic support from countries pursuing their personal goals. Propaganda replaced truth concerning blame for events between the coup of 2014 and Russia’s invasion in 2021.
I urge The Catholic Messenger, Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago and the Church itself to stand for peace and to join Pope Francis in his call for immediate negotiation of a just end to this dangerous conflict. It is a call not just for sanity but also for a mindset that truly grasps the message of Jesus’ teachings.