The Catholic Union welcomed the leader of the Ukrainian Catholic community in the United Kingdom, Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski, to Parliament on Monday 15th May.
Bishop Nowakowski, who was appointed Apostolic Eparch by Pope Francis in January 2020, was in Parliament to update MPs and peers on the Church’s response to the invasion of Ukraine. He was welcomed by Catholic Union Director, Nigel Parker, and Deputy Director, James Somerville-Meikle.
Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in London has become a focal point for spiritual and material support for displaced Ukrainians, with a welcome centre operating in the basement of the Cathedral.
Bishop Kenneth addressed members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See in a meeting organised by the Catholic Union. He said the level of support provided by people and authorities across the country had been “spectacular” since the full-scale invasion over a year ago.
As part of the visit, Bishop Nowakowski also met the Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Canon Tricia Hillas, for a tour of the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in Parliament.
The meeting took place on the same day that Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, visited Britain for talks with the Prime Minister at Chequers.
Earlier this year, Bishop Nowakowski gave an interview to the Catholic Union in which he said that “a clear victory for Ukraine would mean the downfall of the leadership of the Kremlin”.
Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski commented: “These are dark days for Ukraine, but the light of Christ continues to shine in the hope and care we are offering people. I’m extremely grateful for the support shown by parliamentarians this country, and it was good to thank some of them in person at the meeting. Since the terrible events of February last year, the level of support from people in this country has been spectacular. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of so many people, the Church in this country has been able to support thousands of people in their hour of need. I hope and pray this level of support remains as this terrible war continues.”