February 24, 2022
Washington, D.C. – The Franciscan Action Network (FAN) reaches out in concern for and solidarity with the people of Ukraine as they face an unprovoked military aggression from Russia. Russia’s concerns regarding NATO expansion and the positioning of weaponry in eastern Europe are legitimate subjects for discussion but do not justify this illegal invasion.
“As believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people consider all life sacred and thus we call for an immediate end to hostilities,” said FAN Executive Director Michele Dunne, OFS. “Warfare will create untold human suffering in Ukraine as well as unpredictable and dangerous consequences for the world at large, including the people of Russia.”
Similarly to how St. Francis of Assisi sought out peace by crossing battle lines to meet a Muslim leader during the Crusades, the U.S. government should continue energetic and courageous diplomacy to end this conflict. We also call on the U.S. government to avoid military intervention, refrain from broad sanctions that would impose suffering on civilian populations, and resume efforts to advance global nuclear disarmament as soon as possible.
We extend the hand of friendship to all people and ask them to join Pope Francis’ call for prayer, fasting, and other efforts to end this conflict.