The Council of Churches discussed problematic draft laws with the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada

06.02.2022, 10:21
The Council of Churches discussed problematic draft laws with the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada - фото 1
On February 4, representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations met with the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk, MPs, Minister of Culture and Chairman of the State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience.

This is reported by the AUCCRO website.

Religious figures explained their comments on a number of legislative initiatives during a meeting with the leadership of the Ukrainian Parliament. They discussed the inexpediency of ratifying the Istanbul Convention, the need to ban commercial surrogacy, improve state family policy and promote the unity of society in the face of Russian aggression.

Explaining the position of the AUCCRO against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya) of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine noted that churches and religious organizations are actively involved in the process of providing assistance to victims of domestic violence, created an interfaith website "Stop Violence!" and drafted a manual for priests, lobbied for the adoption of relevant legislation in 2017, and are ready to work on improving it in the future. But, according to him, the religious community does not accept the ideological burden of the Istanbul Convention, which promotes gender ideology, but supports the development of national legislation.

Metropolitan Klyment (Vecherya) of the Nizhyn and Priluky, UOC-MP, was critical of the government's draft law of Ukraine "On Assisted Reproductive Technologies" (No. 6475 and alternative No. 6475-1 and No. 6475-2), which proposes to legalize surrogacy because significant comments to its text from the religious community were not taken into account by the developers.

"Of course, we want the demographic crisis to stop in Ukraine, but in the right way – thanks to the support of families, responsible motherhood and fatherhood,” said Bishop Vitaly Krivitsky, an ordinary bishop of Kyiv-Zhytomyr of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine.

Archpriest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Fr. Oleksa Petriv stressed that the Parliament should seriously consider whether it is advisable to cover up this immoral, shameful activity, which in fact is trafficking of Ukrainian children and sexual exploitation of women, with slogans about filling the budget from commercial surrogacy services.

“It is necessary to improve the state family policy, but for this, we need to create a ministry for families, children and Youth Affairs,” the UGCC priest stressed.

Senior bishop of the Ukrainian Church of evangelical Christians Mykhailo Panochko drew the attention of parliamentarians to the need to restore the national expert commission on public morals so that the relevant law in this area again has a proper mechanism for practical implementation. “A state that does not pay attention to the moral health of the nation will not succeed,” the Bishop said.

Representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations also raised the issue of finalizing draft laws that relate to the registration of religious communities in the context of administrative reform, the right of permanent land use, reducing the cost of heating and natural gas for private non-profit educational institutions-kindergartens and schools, including those founded by religious organizations.

“In these difficult times, we need to unite. To do this, we should remove from the agenda of the parliament those issues that excite our society and divide, instead working together on issues where there is agreement,” said Hennadiy Belorytsky, legal adviser to the president of the Association of Jewish Religious Organizations of Ukraine.

For his part, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk assured religious figures of openness to dialogue, discussions and joint decision-making. He noted that simpler issues can be solved immediately, in particular registration, land, and tariff issues. Consultations with representatives of the AUCCRO and relevant parliamentary committees will continue on complex issues.

In conclusion, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada stressed that this is a very important period, and everyone should be aware that both the authorities and religious organizations should foremost take care of the welfare, security and peace of our people.

“We have no right to sow panic because all this creates a collapse of trust, and trust is the most valuable thing in society. Therefore, we will work and move in this direction together,” Ruslan Stefanchuk said.

The meeting was also attended by First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksandr Kornienko, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on the Organization of State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional Development and Urban Planning Andriy Klochko, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Rules of Procedure, Deputy Ethics and Organization of Work of the Verkhovna Rada Sergey Kalchenko, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Anti-corruption Policy Anastasia Radina, Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko, chairman of the State Service for Ethnic Policy and Freedom of Conscience Olena Bogdan.