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Dr. Pavlo Smytsnyuk is director of theInstitute of Ecumenical Studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv. On February 25th, one day after the beginning of the Russian invasion into Ukraine, he delivered a speech at the European Regional Pre-Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC). His topic was the reaction of the different churches to the war. Particularly important is the position taken by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate. While Patriarch Cyril stands firmly by President Putin’s side and supports the war of aggression, Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev, called the Russian invasion “a repetition of the sin of Cain, who out of jealousy killed his own brother.” This war also means a turning point for the churches – especially for the Russian Orthodox Church which must make a decision: Does it chain itself to the Putin regime and will it then also share the fate of the dictator? Or can it emancipate itself and find its way back to the Christian message of peace and humanity?
In summer 2021 the Latin American Bishops’ Council CELAM presented a survey and a sociological and theological reflection on the socioeconomic consequences of the COVID-19-pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean. Six months after this report, an update with new data and projections has now been published. The survey as well as its recent update were prepared by the Socio-Anthropological Pastoral Observatory (OSAP for its acronym in Spanish) of the Knowledge Management Center from CELAM. Its director, Dr Guillermo Sandoval, is a member of our Scientific Advisory Board.