KYIV, Ukraine (CNS) -- As Russia fired missiles on several Ukrainian cities and Russian troops reportedly landed in Odessa, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church affirmed the right of Ukrainians to defend their homeland and assured his people that God would watch over them.

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VATICAN CITY -- As the threat of war loomed over the world, Pope Francis called on people to pray and fast for peace in Ukraine on Ash Wednesday.

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What might be called the messy, Ukrainian spirituality of democracy is threatened by more than 100,000 Russian troops on the border and a propaganda war that pretends Ukrainians and Russians are all part of one Orthodox and Slavic nation, according to the founder of the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies in Toronto.

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COVID has kept Fr. Mykhailo Ozorovych out of Ukraine the last two years, but he knows what the country of his birth is fighting for in Donbass and understands the threat Ukraine faces from more than 100,000 Russian troops massed on its eastern border.

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ROME -- Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych, Ukraine, major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, knows his people are frightened.

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A Catholic bishop from eastern Ukraine said tensions remain high despite an announced withdrawal of Russian forces.

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Ceasefires in Ukraine aren’t quite ceasefires.

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VATICAN CITY -- Being a pastor in a country at war means being with people, leading them closer to Jesus and celebrating the liturgy in a way them helps them experience a bit of heaven on earth, Pope Francis told bishops from Ukraine.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Vatican July 4, and the two discussed the ongoing wars in Eastern Ukraine and in Syria, the Vatican said. Russia plays a major role in both conflicts.

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ROME – The formal recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine brings "a wind of hope" that new opportunities will be created for dialogue and concrete cooperation in the search for Christian unity, said the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

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KYIV, Ukraine – In a message marking the anniversary of their country's December 1991 referendum on independence from the Soviet Union, Ukrainian Catholic bishops said Ukrainians had a "right and sacred duty" to defend themselves against "Russian aggression," but should also avoid yielding to alarm and panic.
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KYIV, Ukraine – As the Ukrainian parliament voted to introduce martial law after Russian forces seized three of its naval vessels, Christians in the country are asking for prayer and solidarity to de-escalate the conflict.
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VATICAN – The horror of the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine is shaping the moral compass of a generation of young Ukrainians and preparing them to be heroic Christian leaders, said the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
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KYIV, Ukraine – The Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has cut ties with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, claiming his recognition of an independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine departed from Orthodox Christian norms.
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KYIV, Ukraine – Shortly after Pope Francis donated money to help those suffering from Ukraine's ongoing conflict, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri arrived in the country, saying that while pained, he sees hope for the future.

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