“The mission of the Church is neither political nor social-economic but, above all, it is a religious one.” Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh)

Thursday, 01 May 2014, 12:58
Given that the Presidential elections in Ukraine will take place on May 25th, Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh), administrator of UGCC Patriarchal Curia, Secretary of UGCC Synod of Bishops, reminded the clergy about the code of conduct for priests during the election campaign.

The Administrator of the Patriarchal Curia in a video blog of Live TV, noted that the Instructions, approved on April 4th by the Synod of Bishops, are meant to provide priests with “general norms which are generated by the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church and UGCC experience,” concerning behavior during the pre-election period.

Bishop Bohdan noted that the priests themselves had asked for such guidelines since “sometimes it is difficult to withstand the pressure and the manipulations of the technologies which are undertaken by the candidates for election to the organs of the government.”

“We have accumulated a lot of experience in this regard,” he stated.  “Our Church throughout all the years of Ukraine’s independence has taken and continues to take a very active socio-political position.  And traditionally, on the occasion of any elections, we published an appeal, an epistle to the people, in which we explained certain criteria which both the clergy as well as the faithful should follow in order to make a responsible choice and one that is in agreement with one’s conscience.”    

The mission of the Church is neither political nor a social-economical one, but, above all, it is a religious one.” A religious view does not mean that the Church escapes from the reality of the world;

It views this reality from a different perspective – the perspective of the Gospel, God’s Commandments.  And in the light of God’s Law, it evaluates the political phenomena, processes, and the behavior of the possible authorities.”

This, according to the Secretary of the Synod, is the first basic principle that should be utilized by priests in understanding the role of the Church in society and the relation of the Church to politics. 

“The second important criteria,” stated he, “concerns the actual participation of the clergy in political processes.  Here the Church takes an unaltered stand:  priests should not be engaged in political parties, community organizations, because this activity is reserved for the faithful laity.”

Also Bishop Bohdan explained, that we pass on politics into the hands of the lay faithful, “not because it is not worthy of the priests’ participation, but because the clergy fulfill another, specific role.”

“Above all, it is the formation of the conscience of their faithful.  Because when a priest forms the spiritual life of his faithful on the basis of God’s Commandments, these faithful will be capable of making a valid choice during the elections and to head various political and social processes for the benefit of the Ukrainian people,” stated Bishop Bohdan (Dziurakh) in his video blog.

 

UGCC Department of Information

 

 

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