Ministry of Defense Council approved regulations on chaplain service in the armed force of Ukraine
On August 29 the Council for Pastoral Care of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine considered the draft regulations on the service of the military clergymen (chaplainship) in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Representatives of denominations used as a basis the regulatory document developed by the Ministry and formulated proposals to the objectives, procedure of establishment and operation of the chaplains’ service in the Ukrainian army, according to the Institute of Religious Freedom.
Key innovations and processed amendments to the draft Regulation were submitted by the Senior Officer of the department for public and religious organizations and patronage contacts of the Directorate for Social and Humanitarian Policy Ukraine of the Defense Ministry Colonel Ruslan Kohanchuk.
Viktor Yelenskyy, who was invited to the Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, explained the purpose for which the Cabinet of Ministers issued the Resolution on the establishment of military clergy (chaplainship).
“The government intends to not only legalize the current pastoral care and pastoral visits to the units, but to set up a full service, and to do it as quick as possible, to which the efforts of all tangents ministries shall be directed,” the official said.
The participants included representatives of the Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate), the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Before that, representatives of all members of the Council participated in the elaboration of the draft Regulation in the form of a working group.
Chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine Yuriy Reshetnikov and CEO of the Institute for Religious Freedom Maksym Vasin also submitted their proposals.
It is expected that in the coming weeks, the provisions concerning the military clergy (chaplains) in the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be approved by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
According to approximate calculations of the Department for Pastoral Care, the Armed Forces of Ukraine need 180 military priests (chaplains), with whom the labor contracts are planned to be concluded. The project also provides for attracting off-duty priests to meet the religious needs of military servicemen.