CLEVELAND — Editor's Note: The above video is from a previously published story about the Catholic community's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine
As Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, the Catholic Church is responding with an event set for this Friday.
Pope Francis will lead an Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of the Annunciation in Rome. He has invited each bishop to join in the act of consecration and unite in prayer with him.
Accordingly, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has announced that it will celebrate Mass at noon on Friday in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland. According to the Diocese, this liturgy "will offer an opportunity for the faithful to pray for the conversion of the enemy of Ukraine, that they become people who seek peace, not war." Bishop Edward Malesic will also offer a prayer of consecration in conjunction with that of Pope Francis.
The mass will be livestreamed here.
Earlier this month, Bishop Edward Malesic led a prayer service for peace in Ukraine at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Hundreds of parishioners sat in the pews as both the bishop and leaders from the local Ukrainian Catholic community spoke of the country's resolve in the face of struggle.
Last week, Pope Francis denounced the “perverse abuse of power” on display in Russia’s war in Ukraine and called for aid to Ukrainians who he said had been attacked in their “identity, history and tradition” and were “defending their land.” Francis’ comments, in a message to a gathering of European Catholic representatives, marked some of his strongest yet in asserting Ukraine’s right to exist as a sovereign state and to defend itself against Russia’s invasion.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.