The war in Ukraine has brought horrific violence, millions of refugees, and unprecedented threats to global peace. The constant images of death and destruction, families fleeing for their lives, and the courage of leaders and ordinary Ukrainians move us to tears and call us to action. This war also raises serious policy questions and moral choices regarding the obligations, directions, and dangers for the United States and other nations.
The Initiative brought together key leaders and powerful voices with extraordinary experience and commitment to Ukraine. This dialogue welcomed the bishop who leads Ukrainian Catholics in the United States, a Cardinal from the Vatican’s justice and peace efforts, a leader working every day to help refugees, an ethicist on war and peace, and a reporter from the Vatican to help us understand this appalling crisis, its escalating human costs, and its ongoing moral choices.
They explored questions such as:
- What is the situation in Ukraine? What is at stake? What is the road ahead?
- What is happening to pastors and people in the religious communities of Ukraine? To refugees fleeing the violence? To countries and communities receiving refugees?
- What are the responsibilities and obligations of other nations? What are dangers and limitations?
- How can each of us, the United States, and the world demonstrate solidarity with the Ukrainian people and support the defense of their land and freedoms?
- How should the principles of Catholic social teaching shape these choices? Specifically, how do Catholic moral principles on war and peace, on the use of force, and on peacemaking offer direction and caution in responding to the war in Ukraine?
- What is the message of Pope Francis, the role of the Vatican, and the mission of religious communities in this terrible time?
- What are the goals and what could be the impacts of Pope Francis’ words and actions?
- What are the ecclesial, ecumenical, interfaith, and geopolitical dimensions and implications of Pope Francis’ efforts?
John Carr, co-director of the Initiative and former director of justice and peace efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, moderated the conversation.
View a list of articles, books, and other resources for this dialogue.