Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Urges Yanukovych to Secure Equality of All Churches Before the Law
KYIV – The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) has called on President Viktor Yanukovych to secure the equality of all churches and religious organizations of Ukraine before the law. The Synod of Bishops of the Kyiv-Halych Supreme Archbishopric of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church on March 25, 2010, passed an address to President Yanukovych with a call to ensure the equality of all churches and religious organizations of Ukraine before the law. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is concerned because the tradition to invite heads of all Ukrainian churches to the joint service in the St. Sophia Cathedral was neglected during the inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych on February 25, reports the information department of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church also warns that the provision of preferences to one of the confessions will deepen the split among the citizens of the state and will do harm to the entire Ukrainian people.
"It will perhaps be worth while for each of us to remind ourselves in this context the Gospel warning of the sad prospects of a ‘divided kingdom’ (Mt. 12, 25). And the forces which do not appreciate Ukraine's historic traditions and cannot put up with its modern status and do not associate their future with it, are trying to impose on Ukraine exactly that scenario. Our state is policonfessional unlike some countries of the world where only one religious organization enjoys a privileged status unlike other denominations," stresses the address.
"The Ukrainian legislation envisages that all our churches and religious communities duly registered by the state bodies are provided with equal rights. Therefore, we appeal to you as the guarantor of the Constitution to see this equality before the law and in the public life of all churches and religious organizations observed conscientiously, for protecting only one particular confession over others will only deepen the split between the citizens of our state which would do great harm to the whole Ukrainian nation," reads the address from the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC.
The bishops also touched upon the question of observance of ethical norms in political life and the necessity to care for spirituality in addition to the economy.
The UGCC counts approximately five million faithful in Ukraine and is the third largest religious organization in the state.