The Peace in Ukraine Coalition, of which Pax Christi USA is a member, and religious leaders from various faiths are elevating Pope Francis’s call for a ceasefire and peace in Ukraine by sponsoring a full-page ad and statement in the most recent issue of Sojourners. The ad features powerful quotes from Pope Francis urging an immediate end to the catastrophic Russia-Ukraine war, which poses the risk of nuclear escalation and global annihilation.
The statement, signed by several hundred religious leaders including Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Quakers, emphasizes the urgent need for a ceasefire and the pursuit of peaceful negotiations. Among the signatories are Pax Christi USA leaders Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., our bishop president; executive director Johnny Zokovitch; 2022 Teacher of Peace Marie Dennis; Ambassadors of Peace Fr. John Dear and Tom Cordaro; plus Pax Christi International secretary general Martha Ines Romero and Pax Christi International board member and UN representative Mary Yelenick.
Quoting Pope Francis, the statement reads, “How much blood must still flow for us to realize that war is never a solution, only destruction? In the name of God and in the name of the sense
of humanity that dwells in every heart, I renew my call for an immediate ceasefire. Let there be a halt to arms, and let us seek the conditions for negotiations.”
This is not the first time these religious leaders have united in their plea for peace. In July, many of them signed a similar letter published in the Independent Catholic News, echoing the pope’s message and urging an end to war and violence. The letter emphasized the importance of not accepting war as the norm, and called for a collective effort to prevent further devastation.
Despite his campaign promise to end forever wars, President Biden has yet to support a ceasefire for peace in the Russia-Ukraine war. Instead, he has sabotaged peace talks and escalated the war by providing more weapons, including tanks coated in depleted uranium and internationally-banned cluster munitions.
The Peace in Ukraine Coalition – an umbrella organization representing over 100 peace groups – hopes their full-page ad and statement will raise awareness to encourage President Biden to reconsider his refusal to support peace negotiations.
Some of the many groups involved in the national and international Peace in Ukraine Coalition include CODEPINK, Veterans For Peace, Massachusetts Peace Action, DSA-International Committee, World Beyond War, RootsAction and Brooklyn for Peace. The Coalition will participate in the Global Days of Action September 30-October 8 to promote a ceasefire and diplomacy to end the war.