AUCCRO supports the creation of a Ministry of Children, Youth and Family Affairs
The problem of supporting families and helping those in need, protecting children's rights and public morals was discussed during a meeting on December 1 of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations with the head of Government, relevant ministers and other officials. The meeting was moderated by the interim chairman of the AUCCRO, Hryiry Komandant.
According to IRS, religious figures reacted to the parliament's proposal to create a state service for children's affairs. In their opinion, this body should not become a punitive structure, but a service that will help families, fathers and mothers, especially in difficult life circumstances, large families, single parents, as well as contribute to the complete replacement of boarding schools for orphans with family forms of education, such as family-type orphanages.
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, ordinary of Kyiv-Zhytomyr Vitaliy Kryvytsky said on this occasion:
"The idea of creating a state service for children's affairs is a one-sided approach because you should not protect a child in isolation from the family. It is better to create a Ministry of Children, Youth and Family Affairs, which would take comprehensive measures to support families, responsible fatherhood and motherhood."
Mitred archpriest of the UGCC Fr Oleksa Petriv drew the attention of the prime minister and officials to the need to ban commercial surrogacy in Ukraine, which is essentially a type of human trafficking because it literally “exports” children abroad to order: "we need to put an end to human trafficking at the level of acts of the Cabinet of Ministers, while appropriate bans are developed at the level of laws,” the priest stressed.
The meeting participants discussed other issues related to the activities of religious organizations in the field of providing pastoral care, humanitarian aid and other forms of social service.
The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Metropolitan Epifaniy expressed gratitude to the officials for supporting the law of Ukraine "On Military Chaplaincy", adopted the day before.
He also drew the attention of the Prime Minister and government representatives to the threats of ratifying the Istanbul Convention he also reminded that a number of laws on this issue have already been adopted, which can be improved in the future.
"It is better to join forces to improve the legislation of Ukraine than to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which divides society and causes protests from a significant part of it. Gender ideology divides our society, and we need to unite in these difficult times for Ukraine," the Metropolitan of the OCU believes.
Senior bishop of the Ukrainian Church of evangelical Christians Mykhailo Panochko addressed the issue of protecting public morals. He recalled an incident related to the financing of an immoral film project by Derzhkino, which also despises religious symbols. The Bishop also reminded that the religious community opposes draft law No. 5488, which poses a direct threat to the implementation of the constitutional right to freedom of religion.
Responding to questions about the covid-19 pandemic, religious figures noted that today there are no church documents that would prohibit believers from being vaccinated.
Bishop Viktor (Kotsaba) of Baryshiv, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the MP, commented:
"Any vaccination, both against coronavirus and other diseases, should be voluntary. Vaccination should not violate human rights. And churches should not be held responsible for antivaccination, because our churches are visited by people with different views and, first of all, for the purpose of obtaining spiritual comfort, and it is up to the authorities and doctors to exhaustively and clearly explain all aspects of vaccination."
Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal spoke about the measures taken by the government in the field of providing heating to churches, houses of worship and other religious buildings. Based on the results of the AUCCRO's request the government has fixed the price of gas for religious organizations, which is UAH 16554 per 1000 cubic meters, which includes VAT and fees for transportation by backbone networks.
According to the IRS, the head of government confirmed his interest in continuing the dialogue with the AUCCRO and holding similar high-profile meetings.
The meeting was also attended by: Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister of Health of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko, Minister of community and territory development of Ukraine Oleksiy Chernyshov and Deputy Minister of energy of Ukraine Maksym Nemchynov.