On November 28, 2008, in Kyiv, on the premises of the Central Building of Officers of the Military Forces of Ukraine, the Third National Conference of the All-Ukrainian Interconfessional Religious Christian Military Brotherhood took place. The basis of this event was the signing of a memorandum on cooperation in matters of pastoral care of workers of the Military Forces of Ukraine between the Department of Defense of Ukraine and authorized representatives of five main Churches and religious organizations of Ukraine." />

Third National Conference of the All-Ukrainian Interconfessional Religious Christian Military Brotherhood

Friday, 05 December 2008, 18:26
On November 28, 2008, in Kyiv, on the premises of the Central Building of Officers of the Military Forces of Ukraine, the Third National Conference of the All-Ukrainian Interconfessional Religious Christian Military Brotherhood took place. The basis of this event was the signing of a memorandum on cooperation in matters of pastoral care of workers of the Military Forces of Ukraine between the Department of Defense of Ukraine and authorized representatives of five main Churches and religious organizations of Ukraine.
On November 28, 2008, in Kyiv, on the premises of the Central Building of Officers of the Military Forces of Ukraine, the Third National Conference of the All-Ukrainian Interconfessional Religious Christian Military Brotherhood took place. The basis of this event was the signing of a memorandum on cooperation in matters of pastoral care of workers of the Military Forces of Ukraine between the Department of Defense of Ukraine and authorized representatives of five main Churches and religious organizations of Ukraine. In the work of the conference about 70 participants took part, namely: representatives of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, and Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine. The UGCC was represented by five delegates headed by the Reverend Bishop Mikhail (Koltun), head of the Department of the UGCC in Matters of Chaplaincy in the Power Structures of Ukraine, who during the last few years has headed the spiritual council of the brotherhood. In the work of the conference took part also persons from the State Committee of Ukraine on Matters of Nationalities responsible for cooperation with the Churches, the Department of Defense of Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Internal Forces of the MIA of Ukraine, the state border service, Ministry on Questions of Extraordinary Situations and in Matters of Defense of the Population from the Consequences of the Failure of the CAES, research workers, and journalists. During the conference an analysis and estimation of the activity of the organization was conducted, the issue of amendments and additions to the statutes was discussed, and the strategy to develop co-operation of the Churches directed at the military-priest ministry in the Military Forces of Ukraine and other military unions was analyzed; as was the practical organization of pastoral care of the military. The role of the organization in establishing chaplaincy in Ukraine was noted. In the opinion of the participants of the conference, incorporating in law the principles of the institute of chaplains in the armed forces is already on the horizon. It will satisfy the spiritual necessities of the military, strengthen the moral and psychological climate in soldiers’ collectives, and be instrumental in inter-confessional cooperation. According to reported information, presently in military formations approximately 200 military chaplains minister, and in the case of the legislative confirmation of the institute of chaplaincy in the troops, their amount could grow to 1000. Today on the territory of military bases 11 religious corners operate, equipped with chambers of ethnology, 21 chapels, and also five churches where the Divine Liturgy is celebrated daily. Speaking at the conference, Bishop Mikhail assured that even in those times when in Ukrainian society a hostile spirit in relation to the Church was sown, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church did not avoid pastoral chaplaincy in the military. “A soldier is foremost a man who has spiritual needs. Exemplary are those soldiers who have a good spiritual formation, and this is precisely the main task of all Churches of various confessions and the Ukrainian army,” said Bishop Mikhail. “We are the clergy and we want the army to form real men for the Ukrainian nation.”

Information Department of the UGCC

Historical information The All Ukrainian Interconfessional Religious Christian Military Brotherhood was created in December 2000 by the five largest Churches of Ukraine (the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and Lviv Metropolitanate of the Roman Catholic Church). The primary purpose of the creation and existence of the brotherhood is coordination of the cooperation of Churches and religious organizations with the military forces and other military formations of Ukraine in questions of reviving  pastoral care of the military, spiritual instruction, and the education of military workers and members of their families in the spirit of Christian morals, the patriotic education of youth, and for the creation of a system of special preparation for priests who already are engaged in the ministry of care for the military and, in prospect, the creation of the ministry of military chaplaincy. Photo: www.mil.gov.ua
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