The coalition agreement envisages liquidation of the Commission for the Protection of Public Morality, the Church disagrees
The participants to the future coalition of the newly elected Parliament of Ukraine set the task to eliminate the National Expert Commission for the Protection of Public Moralityas a state institution.
This is stated in paragraph 2.3.4 of Section XV “Social and Humanitarian Reform” of the Coalition Agreement, reports the Institute of Religious Freedom.
The contents of this document was signed by representatives of five parties – Poroshenko Bloc, Popular Front, Self-help, Radical Party and Homeland on November 21, 2014
In addition, the text of the Coalition Agreement,provides no initiative aimed at improving the state-church relations, freedom of religion and improved conditions for educational, spiritual, social and charitable activities of churches and religious organizations.
"The idea to eliminate the Commission for the Protection of Public Morality is not a reform, but actually is the lobbying of media business," said Head of the Foreign RelationsDepartment of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Archpriest OleksaPetrov.
According to the priest, if the Parliament really wants to improve state regulation of the information sector, then it should take into account not only the interests of commercial media, but also consider the opinion of the parent community, religious and pro-familyorganizationsregarding the lack of other effective mechanisms to protect citizens, especially children from violence, corruption, neglect of family values, religious strife and media wars that destroy Ukrainian society.
Note that in October 2014 the Cabinet of Ministers in his session rejected the project, which included amendments to the Law “On Protection of Public Morality” in order to eliminate the Commission. "This is not just a demonstration of respect to requests received from Church leaders and religious leaders. This is my principled position,” said Prime Minister Yatsenyuk that time.
The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations have consistently advocated the need to preserve the National Expert Commission for the Protection of Public Morality. According to the heads of religious denominations, liquidation of the Commission will obstruct performance of the Law of Ukraine “On Protection of Public Morality”, and the examination of relevant information materials for population will become paid.
First the issue of elimination of the Commission for the Protection of Public Morality was raised at the government level under the so-called “administrative reform” pursued by the Yanukovych regime in late 2010. The relevant provision of the presidential decree is still in force, despite repeated appeals of the religious community leaders to the government.