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Statement on Ukraine
The Apostolat Militaire International (AMI) is the global Catholic Military Lay Organisation, recognised by the Holy See. We condemn the offensive use of force by Russia against Ukraine. We feel great sorrow and strong compassion with the Ukrainian people. We hope and pray that the violence and human suffering will end soon and that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine will be restored.
On February 23th our Pope Francis pleaded urgently “to refrain from any action causing suffering to the people, destabilising coexistence between nations, and bringing international law in disrepute”. We strongly support the Pope’s plea based upon the following.
In AMI’s Declaration of London (Sep. 2021) our approach of peace builds its support for the role of international law upon at least four key values, grounded in the Catholic Social Teaching. One is the prophetic ethics of peace as a fruit of justice (Is. 32:17), for justice is necessary both for development and for conflict prevention. The second basic value underpinning peace includes reconciliation, reconstruction and forgiveness, which are especially needed in post-conflict peace building. A third value underpinning peace is compassion, elaborated below, which is a strong motive for Catholics, Christians from other denominations and other people of good will to provide humanitarian aid for people in need. The fourth value underpinning peace is security, which builds upon the concept of St. Augustine ‘pax ordo tranquillitatis’, peace based on tranquility. Tranquility means that peace is also based on security, stability and the rule of [just] law.
We also express our support to the words of Cardinal Parolin (Holy See’s Secretary of State) spoken on February 24th to not give up hope and to use the room for negotiations, and give place for exercise of great wisdom,
AMI joins the Catholic community in prayer and fast on this Ash Wednesday. We pray for those who suffer, we pray for wisdom, we pray for peace. In these hard times, as Catholic military we are encouraged by the words of pope Francis:
” You are called not only to prevent, manage and put an end to conflicts, but also to contribute to the building of an order founded on truth, on justice, on love and on freedom, according to St John XXIII’s definition of peace in his Encyclical Pacem in Terris (nn. 18 ff.).The affirmation of peace is not an easy task, especially because of war, which uproots hearts and augments violence and hatred. I urge you not to be discouraged. Continue on your journey of faith and open your hearts to God the merciful Father who never tires of forgiving us. Faced with the challenges of every day, be shining examples of Christian hope, which is the certitude of the victory of love over hate and of peace over war.” (General Audience, 30th of April 2016).
Yours in Christ
AMI Executive Committee