“Media outlets recently have reported on the latest Russian outrages against Ukraine in the form of imprisonment, torture and murder of Catholic priests and clergy of other denominations in occupied portions of Ukraine. One priest wearing a cassock was pulled from a car at a Russian checkpoint and summarily shot to death. Other clergy have been tortured for refusing to cooperate with the Russian military in turning their congregations against Ukrainian authorities.
“The University of Notre Dame enjoys a special relationship with Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, and its president, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, who was our commencement speaker in May. He and many others have courageously spoken out against the Russian war. We stand united with the clergy who have historically and bravely resisted the manipulation of their faith — first perpetrated by the Soviet Union, later by Russia and its puppet government in Kyiv, and now during this most brutal attack on clergy and the Ukrainian people at large.
“I offer my prayers today for all of Ukraine, and especially its churches and clergy, and ask that the Notre Dame community and everyone who values freedom to worship to do the same. Let us stand with people of faith as they resist such inhumane aggression.”