On 60th anniversary of signing of Universal Declaration of Human Rights UGCC published book ‘Human Rights of Prisoners’

Monday, 15 December 2008, 16:54
"Criminality is a fact which it is impossible to avoid, but it is not always clear for us what to do with it, and how. How should we behave with criminals, how do criminals themselves have to examine the status of their soul?" So wrote His Beatitude Lubomyr in the introduction to the book "Human Rights of Prisoners." Thus the Head of the UGCC poses such questions: "Are we able to understand properly the situation of a man in jail and after he exits? Do we know what to think and how to behave with prisoners, and more so, with former prisoners?" Answers to these questions are in the published book, which contains important theological, psychological and legal principles in relation to crime and repentance and excerpts from the social doctrine of the Church which relate to imprisonment.
"Criminality is a fact which it is impossible to avoid, but it is not always clear for us what to do with it, and how. How should we behave with criminals, how do criminals themselves have to examine the status of their soul?" So wrote His Beatitude Lubomyr in the introduction to the book "Human Rights of Prisoners." Thus the Head of the UGCC poses such questions: "Are we able to understand properly the situation of a man in jail and after he exits? Do we know what to think and how to behave with prisoners, and more so, with former prisoners?" Answers to these questions are in the published book, which contains important theological, psychological and legal principles in relation to crime and repentance and excerpts from the social doctrine of the Church which relate to imprisonment. The translation of "Human Rights of Prisoners" into Ukrainian was published on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, accepted and proclaimed on December 10, 1948, by the General Assembly of the UN. In English the book was published in 2006 in Rome under the aegis of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Commission of Catholic Prison Ministries (ICCPPC). The translation was done with the money of donors, the active assistance of the prison chaplaincy of the Ivano-Frankivs’k Eparchy of the UGCC, and the personal efforts of Fr. Ivan Zhuk. The relevance of this work becomes clear when we reflect on the reality. The number of those detained in prisons in Ukraine is three times more than the corresponding rates in many European countries. Annually in our country tens of thousands of people enter the gates of interrogation isolators and tens of thousands of convicts go beyond the prison walls after release. The author of the translation, Olena Romazan, said in an address to readers: "We have a phobia of prisoners really, as, finally, also for other marginal, poor layers of the population ... however it is impossible to fight evil by sowing hostility, anger, prejudice and unfriendly relations in response."

Information Department of the UGCC

Information The UGCC became an active member of the International Commission of Catholic Prison Ministries (ICCPPC) at the 12th Congress of the ICCPPC in Rome, which took place in September 2007. Then the Church expressed its serious disturbance at the needs of the imprisoned who are kept in prison because of crimes they have committed, and especially those people who only are on trial and their guilt is not proven yet. With the prayers of the Holy Father this Congress indeed gave its participants the chance “to share the experience of contemplating the mysterious expression of the face of Christ which shines through the face of the imprisoned." Pope Benedict XVI encouraged prison chaplains in their ministry to "show this face to the world."
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