Patriarch Sviatoslav: ‘Dialogue between church and state needs to improve’

Friday, 23 March 2012, 10:35
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was represented at the meeting with Ukraine’s president by its head, Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk). In his address at the meeting, Patriarch Sviatoslav, first of all, expressed the surprise of the members of All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) at the fact that they were informed about the meeting with the president only two days before and that the date of the meeting was fixed to concur with the visit of the AUCCRO to Brussels.
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was represented at the meeting with Ukraine’s president by its head, Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk). In his address at the meeting, Patriarch Sviatoslav, first of all, expressed the surprise of the members of All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (AUCCRO) at the fact that they were informed about the meeting with the president only two days before and that the date of the meeting was fixed to concur with the visit of the AUCCRO to Brussels. At the same time, Patriarch Sviatoslav stressed that the participation of all the members of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches is a sign of great respect to the head of the state. In his address, the head of the UGCC stressed the necessity to develop church-state relations, which is an “important factor of the harmonious development of our country.” He stated that in our state today, one can feel a bad lack of a dialogue between the authorities and various parts of the civil society. “The development of the dialogue will help ease the present tension in the society,” said the head of the UGCC. Patriarch Sviatoslav noted that the Ukrainian authorities should not be afraid of the international level of the activity of the AUCCRO. “Our planned visit to Brussels is aimed to demonstrate the Euro integration aspirations of the citizens of Ukraine.” He stressed that the Ukrainian state should be interested in such contacts as they promote the development of Ukraine's European prospect. The hierarch expressed an expectation that the participants of planned meetings with the president will be given at least a week’s notice and that the relations between the authorities and representatives of the churches will be built on a parity basis. After these words of the head of UGCC, Viktor Yanukovych thanked Patriarch Sviatoslav for his frankness and stated that he was not informed of the visit of the delegation of AUCCRO to Brussels. He also assured that the state authorities have no intention to and will not obstruct the international contacts of the churches and religious organizations.  

UGCC Information Department

Photo: www.president.gov.ua
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