We, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, are impelled by the love of Christ “to work for justice in solidarity with oppressed people, especially the economically poor and women and to care for the earth” (SCN Mission Statement). We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are being oppressed by a war initiated by Russia and condemn the aggression as an injustice. We are thankful for those within Ukraine and the surrounding countries who are feeding, sheltering, and providing compassionate care to those displaced by the conflict and extend to them our prayerful and financial support.
The indiscriminate killing of civilians, especially women and children, leads us to call on world leaders to work to resolve this war, hold the aggressors accountable for the destruction and help reconstruct what has been destroyed so that the Ukrainian people may return and rebuild their lives. We affirm the economic pressure that has been put on Russia to stop the violence and hope that such efforts will be effective. We regret that these economic policies will cause suffering for ordinary Russian people, especially those living in poverty who will be most affected. In solidarity with people around the globe, we pray with and for the citizens of Ukraine and Russia who are forced to endure untold suffering – physical, emotional, psychological, social, and economic – in the days ahead and for years to come.
While we acknowledge the right of the Ukrainian people to defend themselves, we also know that what Pope Francis states is true: “Every act of violence committed against a human being is a wound in humanity’s flesh; every violent death diminishes us as people… Violence leads to more violence, hatred to more hatred, death to more death. We must break this cycle which seems inescapable” (Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, 227). To this end, we hope and pray that the global community will have the courage to reassess its investments into the military-industrial complex for war and redirect these resources toward achieving a just-peace through non-violence, conflict resolutions, and peacebuilding.
We believe that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God and, as such, is called to respect everyone’s right to life. Therefore, we stand in solidarity, not only with those being oppressed, but also with those seeking to bring about a just-peace and a halt to the killing.