UK Bishops Show Solidarity with Ukraine During Plenary Assembly

Latin, Eastern Rite Bishops Celebrate Eastern Liturgical Rite Together For First Time

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The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have shown solidarity with those suffering in Ukraine by concelebrating the divine liturgy of St John Chrysostom with Bishop Hlib Lonchyna, the Eparch of the Ukrainian faithful of the Byzantine Rite in Great Britain.

The celebration came at the conclusion of the bishops’ conference’s plenary assembly, which this year was held in Leeds, and marked the first time that all the Latin Rite bishops in England and Wales had together concelebrated at a Mass in an eastern Liturgical Rite of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, who had gathered in Leeds this week for its plenary meeting, offered prayers for all in Ukraine and for the estimated 35,000 Ukrainians in this country.

The bishops also prayed for the people of South Sudan, the Philippines and Myanmar following recent visits by bishops on behalf of the Conference.

Over the course of the plenary meeting, in addition to many other issues and ongoing work by the Conference, the Bishops discussed the forthcoming Extraordinary Synod on the family this Autumn, the ongoing debate around assisted suicide and the care of elderly and vulnerable people and centenary commemorations for the fallen of the First World War.

The bishops also reflected on the recent human trafficking conference organized in the Vatican, which was attended and commended by Pope Francis.

The bishops called for the Catholic community of England and Wales to pray for Christian unity and the people of the Holy Land on May 25, when Pope Francis meets Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, considered first among equals of the Orthodox bishops. There are 300 million Orthodox worldwide. The meeting takes place in Jerusalem as part of Pope Francis’ pilgrimage to the Holy Land.