Council of UAOC Formulates Its Position on Participation in Election Campaign14 September 2012, 10:28 | UAOC |
The Hierarchical Council of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) called priests and bishops to abstain from any agitation and participation in the election campaign.
"We decided to prohibit priests and bishops from running in the election, agitating for any parties or individual persons. And we called lay people to vote according to their conscience for there are decent people in all the parties," the head of UAOC, Metropolitan Mefodii (Kudriakov), said to a correspondent of Komersant.
Similar decisions were earlier made by other Ukrainian churches, namely, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
On September 11 in Kyiv, a regular session of the Hierarchical Council of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) began.
Synod of the UOC-MP prohibits political agitation in churches and calls on faithful to participate in elections
In the midst of the election campaign, the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) explained to the clergy and faithful of the Church its position on the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, which will be held on October 28, 2012.
"In this crucial period, we consider it necessary to once again declare that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not subject to the political process. The church does not participate in the political struggle, does not lead a campaign for a particular political party or candidate. The mission of the church is different. Our duty is to preach the eternal Gospel values and work for their implementation," reads the address.
The Synod of the UOC-MP stresses that the duty of the government is to provide free democratic vote of citizens during elections. The state should ensure an open and transparent electoral process, to protect citizens from all possible attempts to restrict their constitutional right to a fair election.
As for participants in elections, as stated in the address, they have to fight for votes using worthy methods: "It is inadmissible for there to be any pressure on voters, to slander political opponents, to proclaim unfulfilled promises and so on. Each of us is responsible to God not only for his or her actions but also for every spoken word, especially if it is a word addressed to the public and society as a whole."
The Synod of the UOC MP again reminded the bishops and priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the unacceptability of political agitation from the church pulpit: "The church should unite people of different political persuasions, and therefore political slogans should always remain outside church walls."
The bishops of the UOC-MP called on all the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to vote: "On the day of elections, we have to go to the polls and vote for those whom we consider most worthy. It is our civic duty to make a conscious and responsible choice."
The items contained in the Religious Information Service of Ukraine