Threats to diprive Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of the legal status


#1

The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine in an official letter threatened to deprive religious organizations Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of the legal status.

The reason for such a reaction of the Government is a religious activity, which is allegedly executed by “the representatives, in particular of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, on Independence Square in Kyiv during December of last year and in the new – 2014”.

The protests on Independence Square in Kyiv began after the Government’s Nov. 21 announcement that it would not sign a major economic partnership agreement with the European Union.

More information on the official website: news.ugcc.org.ua/en/news/_preaching_of_peace_is_especially_needed_where_a_threat_to_peace_is_possible__the_head_of_ugcc_reply_to_the_threats_of_authorities_to_deprive_religious_organizations_ugcc_of_the_legal_status_68849.html

Please support and share petition “Please protect the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from deprivation of the legal status by the Ukrainian Government” - petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet…nment/ctPBmF08


#2

The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine in an official letter threatened to deprive religious organizations Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of the legal status.

The reason for such a reaction of the Government is a religious activity, which is allegedly executed by “the representatives, in particular of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, on Independence Square in Kyiv during December of last year and in the new – 2014”.

The protests on Independence Square in Kyiv began after the Government’s Nov. 21 announcement that it would not sign a major economic partnership agreement with the European Union.

More information on the official website: news.ugcc.org.ua/en/news/_preaching_of_peace_is_especially_needed_where_a_threat_to_peace_is_possible__the_head_of_ugcc_reply_to_the_threats_of_authorities_to_deprive_religious_organizations_ugcc_of_the_legal_status_68849.html

Please support and share petition “Please protect the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church from deprivation of the legal status by the Ukrainian Government” - petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet…nment/ctPBmF08


#3

From George Weigel’s recent article: The Exhaust Fumes of Stalinism in the National Review:

The religious dimension of the EuroMaidan protests in Ukraine these past two months has gone largely unremarked. Yet in Kiev and elsewhere, the day’s activities at these oases of civil society are punctuated with prayers offered by clergymen of a variety of Christian communities: Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Protestant… Ukrainian Christians have discovered a common cause: the moral and cultural renewal of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) is the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the UGCC became one of the cultural safe-deposit boxes of an emerging Ukrainian national consciousness, to which the extraordinarily accomplished head of the UGCC from 1901 to 1944, Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, made singular cultural contributions. Ukrainian national self-awareness, though, was a grave threat to the consolidation of Soviet power. One response to that threat, and the most grotesque effort to crush the national spirit of Ukraine, was the Holodomor of 1932–33, what Robert Conquest aptly styled the “Ukrainian terror famine:” a Moscow-induced genocide in which as many as 7.5 million people were deliberately starved to death.

After World War II, Stalin decided to deal with the threat he perceived in the Greek Catholic Church of Ukraine by liquidating it an infamous sobor (Church council), held in Lviv in western Ukraine in 1946 and managed by the secret police of the NKVD…Bishops, priests, nuns, and lay UGCC leaders who refused to accept this farce were sent to the Gulag camps, where many died as martyrs (later to be beatified by John Paul II).

Rising from beneath the rubble of the crumbling Soviet state in the last years of the Gorbachev period, the UGCC has built a vibrant life in independent Ukraine. Its former head, Cardinal Lubomir Husar, was for years the most respected public figure in the country, and helped support the creation of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, the only Catholic institution of higher learning in the former Soviet space and a major center of national cultural reconstruction.

This entire episode, however, is a powerful reminder of the deeper level of the struggle that is underway in Ukraine. The EuroMaidan protests have emphasized the imperative of rebuilding the moral and cultural life of Ukrainian society, so that elementary decencies are observed in public life as a matter of habit, not as concessions from the state. The crude attempt by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture to threaten the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in a way that inevitably evoked memories of the Church’s liquidation in 1946 was a sharp reminder of the fundamental problem the EuroMaidans face in Ukraine: the exhaust fumes of Stalinism, and their corrosive effects on state policy, civic culture, and politics."

nationalreview.com/article/368420/exhaust-fumes-stalinism-george-weigel

Well said by Weigel. I think people in the West need to understand that as much as one complains, and rightfully so, about the West, many countries which were forced once into the Soviet Empire of old, exist now as “virtual mafia states” where the rule of law is virtually non-existent, no matter how much a country’s leader shows extreme religiosity at church functions and “talks the talk”. Peoples’ elementary rights are trampled upon, corruption proliferates all spheres of life (even into the education, police, and medical systems), “legal nihilism” (in Dmitry Medvedev’s words about another country) destroys society, and rulers play around with elections to become rulers for life. This is true of Ukraine and of other countries which are to comprise some future Eurasian Union launched from the Kremlin. Morality becomes corrupted in such societies and fear and apathy rule. It was quite heartening to see each day in Kyiv on the EuroMaidan begin off with a prayer service led off by Ukrainian Orthodox or Catholic priests and Ukraine’s youth joining in. They know their nation is in deep moral and economic trouble under Yanukovych and their futures are at stake. They have no wish to grow old or raise kids in such an amoral state, a state where a regime threatens the country’s Catholic Church.


#4

I will start another thread in the prayer intentions forum to keep prayers flowing for the Ukrainian people. God bless, Andrew!


#5

Hey, josie, Thanks, that’s O.K. Every little personal prayer helps. :slight_smile:

God Bless.


#6

Wow, I’ve been trying to get onto the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s official website for more info. but it’s been down since yesterday. I heard that it may be a denial of service attack yesterday by computer hackers and sure enough, it appears, according to a reliable news source on religion in Ukraine RISU, that:

Official Website of UGCC Hit by DDoS Attacks from Russia

The spokesman for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), Fr. Ihor Yatsiv, announced that the official website of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was hit by DDoS attacks. The priest said ironically that the church has thus received another “honor” from its adversaries. Fr. Ihor Yatsiv wrote about this on his Facebook page.

“We have received yet another ‘honor.’ The resources of the UGCC have been hit by DDoS attacks. Our sites are not available. There were 6,000 concurrent external communications requests,” he said.

In a comment to RISU, the priest said that the first attack on the site took place last night from six locations with one thousand external communications requests from each one. Then the UGCC IT staff set up protection so that no more than 50 requests came from one location. And the site started working again.

But during the night the attacks resumed – they occurred from a much larger number of locations. And this morning DDoS attacks exceeded the evening attacks by ten times and at 10:00 the main web portal of the UGCC was again unavailable. All attacks, as reported in the UGCC Department of Information come from Rostelecom – the national telecommunications company in Russia.

Recall that on Christmas Eve, January 6, the Greek Catholic leadership received an official letter from the Ministry of Culture, which warned the church of dissolution if it continued to maintain a presence on the Maidan.

In response to the letter, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk said that the church is not part of the political process, but it but it “cannot stand by when its faithful ask for spiritual care,” and therefore it is present on the Maidan."

risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/community/scandals/54965

It would be nice to know who exactly is responsible.


#7

I read an article this morning and it left me a bit confused so forgive my ignorance.

Did the government get upset that there were priests present at the pro-European Union protests?

What would this mean for the Church? Would they have to go underground and face imprisionment if they practice their faith?


#8

Hi J. The pro-Europe protests were started by university students solely and firstly in the hope that this would help the Rule of Law become established in Ukraine, as opposed to having the state administration run solely for the benefit of the current President of Ukraine Yanukovych and his personal enrichment and that of his oligarch friends. Yanukovych’s son, for instance, was “just” a dentist until his father assumed powered. The son now is one of the richest men in Ukraine. Most state assets are being accumulated for the benefit of Yanukovych and his family or “simya” as they call this criminal group in Ukraine. Elsewhere, the people wallow in poverty and a society where government corruption rules.

Yanukovych sent in brutal interior ministry troops from the boonies and forced them to beat up the students in the middle of the night to disperse them. Many ran to a Ukrainian Orthodox (Kyiv Patriarchate) church, St. Michael’s, for sanctuary which they received. The Orthodox church (Kyiv and parts of the one subject to Moscow) and the Roman and Ukrainian Catholic churches realized the Yanukovych regime is turning into a criminal enterprise with Ukrainian society suffering. After the students were beaten up, most of Ukrainian society became disgusted with living under a regime that freely beats kids up. All the churches of Ukraine supported a pro-Europe course but now the protests are mostly against Yanukovych’s destruction of Ukraine’s laws, liberties, and democracy.

Yanukovych would like all the major Ukrainian Churches to be subservient to his whim. Indeed, some 3 years ago, upon assuming power, Yanukovych sent the secret police (old KGB men) to the Ukrainian Catholic University to threaten its dean, Father Gudziak, if he did not snitch on his students to the authorities as to how each student was politically motivated.

The protesters themselves (the Maidan leaders) asked for religious prayer services to be held at the Maidan based upon spiritual need in the face of a lawless regime: to receive confession, communion, and the Ukrainian Catholic and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (the one not subject to Moscow) accepted. They see themselves that the regime is thoroughly lawless and beats up or imprisons all opponents now (like the journalist Tanya Chornovol who was almost killed).

The churches are not asking for the government’s removal, but just for the rule of law and justice, which are increasingly becoming rare as Yanukovych is now moving to a personal dictatorship.

I guess at this stage, one would have to think of the Church’s involvement, such as it is, as akin to that of Pope JP2 when he visited Solidarity in Poland. It’s not a perfect example but it’s similar.

Hope this helps. Ask away. I might not be able to answer all at once though. :slight_smile:


#9

Thanks, it does help. I had no idea any of this was going on and to jump into in blind was overwhelming.

:frowning:


closed #10

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