Monday, September 16, 2013
A Model Bishop During Elections
How Patriarch Svyatoslav is handling elections in Ukraine (from the UGCC news site; my emphases and comments):
It was informed on September 4th by Father and Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav during a web conference on the site of Religious Information Service of Ukraine.
"To protect our pastors from the use in the election campaign, we are preparing a separate instruction. Hopefully at the end of this year at the Synod we will have the first reading of this document. The discussion will take place, and it will be put over to every priest as a certain rule of conduct, failure of which will be subject to disciplinary consequences, "- said the Arch-priest.
He reminded that due to the fact of irregularities priests’ responsibilities during the previous elections in the Church it was created the commission that conducted the research regarding each fact. The head of the commission was Bishop Igor (Voznyak ), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Lviv .
«There was a clear and sharp conversation with each of those priests. Some evidence has not been confirmed, some confirmed. Strict disciplinary measures were taken to the fault of each priest. Someone got oral warning, and someone - a written reprimand. [This is what's supposed to happen when priests act in regards to the government in a way that opposes Church Teaching.] The results of this checking may have been unknown to the wider public, because it probably was an inside analysis, organized by our Church. The purpose of this action was not to punish anyone, even if it is also useful, but understand how aggressively and in what way our priests have been used for campaigning, "- remarked the Head of the Church.
He noted that the methods with which the pastors were used "were very treacherous." According to the Arch-priest’s words, there were cases that even His Beatitude Lyubomyr was not aware that he was used for political campaigning. Someone stood next to him, took a picture and then printed in campaign materials as a fact of support by His Beatitude Lyubomyr. [I wonder if Card. Dolan is reading this. Just a random thought.] "It is the immoral use and instrumentalization of a blind person," - His Beatitude Sviatoslav supposes.
So, he says, the Church wanted to understand how to counteract this in the future to prevent such things.
Information Department of the UGCC