Burnt-out cars line a street in Lviv after Russia’s recent rocket attack  (ANSA)

By Svitlana Dukhovych and Francesca Sabatinelli

Jul 7 2023

The Latin Archbishop of Lviv laments Russia’s attack on civilian infrastructure in his western city on Wednesday night, which killed four people of whom two were Latin-rite Catholics.

The city of Lviv is now in a state of mourning following what has been described as the worst attack on civilian infrastructure since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Mayor Andriy Sadovy reported four fatalities, more than 30 wounded, and the destruction of approximately 50 apartments in a residential building.

On Wednesday night, a Russian attack targeted the top floors of the building, obliterating them with missiles likely launched from aircraft carriers and submarines in the Black Sea, according to the Ukrainian Air Force.

The closure of at least a dozen shelters in the city is currently under investigation. The situation is reminiscent of events that took place in Kyiv a month ago when three individuals, including a nine-year-old girl, lost their lives in a bombing.

Prayers for victims and for peace

The victims from Wednesday night’s attack included three women and one man, aged between 32 and 63. Among them were Anastasia, 32, and her mother, Myroslava, 60.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter that Ukraine will surely respond to this tragic incident.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, the head of the Latin-rite Church in Lviv, has called for prayers for the deceased and for peace in Ukraine.

Speaking to Vatican News, he described the pain and fear experienced by the people in his city.

The mother and daughter who lost their lives were Latin-rite Catholics who were members of a foundation that helps children with incurable diseases, according to the Archbishop.

In Lviv, Archbishop Mokrzycki explained, “we often hear the sound of sirens, and many people frequently seek shelter. However, in this particular building, the occupants were unable to reach the shelter as it was nighttime when the attack occurred. They were sleeping peacefully and tragically lost their lives.”

The Archbishop offered his solidarity “with all those who have lost their lives for our country during the war, both soldiers and civilians.”

He also expressed his sorrow at witnessing “the aftermath of the bombings, as many people are now fleeing to quieter places, villages, or even to other European countries such as Poland. They flee the city because the primary concern for everyone is to hide and protect their children.”

Appeal for prayers

Archbishop Mokrzycki made an appeal to all people of goodwill, especially Christians worldwide, to pray for the deceased and for peace in Ukraine.

He described the efforts of the Latin bishops in Lviv to support civilians, including “attending funerals, offering assistance, both material and emotional, and striving to instill hope in the hearts of grieving families.”

The Bishops, concluded Archbishop Mokrzycki, pray often and ask others for prayers, always “encouraging people to draw closer to God and find solace in the pursuit of peace.” – Vatican News