“Just peace in Ukraine: threats and challenges”

One year and one month after the start of the big war in Ukraine, in partnership with Notre Dame University, Ukrainian Catholic University held an international online round table “Just peace in Ukraine: threats and challenges”.

Archbishop Borys, who was invited as one of the speakers, in his intervention talked about the natural law in action, specifically in the light of Russian aggression:

“It is heartening to see natural law at work. So many people in so many countries have responded to what we can say philosophically are the rules of natural law. People's hearts, people's thoughts are largely in symphony when they have the information and when they live in a society where they can formulate their opinions freely and express them freely. I think there has been no global event in history that has created such a consensus among people of good will.”

Reflecting about the manifestation of the natural law, whose different aspects are at the same time, in our time, dismantled and deconstructed, Archbishop has referred to the example that Pope Francis gives in an exegesis of the parable of the Good Samaritan in Fratelli Tutti. There, Jesus gives a very concrete example of the criteria for the moral action: putting the victim first.

“The church has come to the conclusion, enunciated by many, but most importantly by Pope Francis, that the victim comes first. The victim comes first, and there can be zero tolerance for such violence against children, against the vulnerable, against those who are under the spiritual care of moral ecclesial authorities. Zero tolerance and victim first. I think that there should be zero tolerance for this Russian aggression, and that the evident victim needs to become increasingly the criterion” – stated Archbishop Gudziak, and underlined that as in the parable, we should be concrete in our actions, that we should not be abstract.

Lastly the Archbishop highlighted, referring to the war in Ukraine, that victims are not passive, but rather they are agents: “There's always a danger of a culture of victimization. There is always a danger that identity can be melded with victimhood. This is not the situation today. The victims are agents. They are not passive. They are not seeking to absolve themselves of responsibility. In fact, they are showing heroic virtue and the capacity to make the ultimate sacrifice.”

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