Kiev, April 21, 2022
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine issued a statement today proposing a prayerful procession to Mariupol that could bring necessary humanitarian aid and carry out the wounded and departed.
The Ukrainian primate called for a ceasefire from Holy Friday through Pascha to allow for such a procession.
His statement reads in full:
I am deeply saddened by what is happening in the city of Mariupol these days. The feeling of heartache prompts on the eve of the main Christian feast—the Resurrection of Christ—to pay attention to the need to save those who, remaining in the long-suffering Mariupol, find themselves in a humanitarian catastrophe. To this day, a large number of civilians remain within the city, including many children and the elderly. Wounded servicemen need urgent medical care. The bodies of the dead must be handed over to their families for proper burial.
In this regard, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with the help of the episcopate, clergy, monks, and faithful, is ready to organize a prayer procession from Orikhiv, Zaporozhye Province, to the Azovstal plant in Mariupol to provide emergency assistance and evacuate civilians. The march could also take out wounded soldiers and take away the bodies of the dead.
We appeal to all those upon whom it depends, and we ask to ensure a ceasefire in the city of Mariupol and its surrounding and provide a humanitarian corridor for this prayer procession to pass through in the period from Holy Friday (April 22, 2022) to the Resurrection of Christ (April 24, 2022).