Statement of the Ukrainian Catholic University on the Violent Suppression of the EuroMaidan in Kyiv
“The community of the Ukrainian Catholic University expresses its strong opposition to the transgressions committed and demands those who ordered this bloody act as well as their immediate perpetrators to be brought to justice,” reads the university administration’s statement on the violent suppression of the EuroMaidan in Kyiv.
Statement of the Ukrainian Catholic University
on the Violent Suppression of the EuroMaidan in Kyiv
All of Ukraine is stunned, as is the whole world.
Violence against peaceful demonstrators committed by the Berkut riot police as ordered by the government is entirely unacceptable in a democracy. The brutality with which the armed Berkut dispersed the defenseless demonstrators, particularly the women, is appalling.
The government’s order to use force to disperse a peaceful demonstration of students is contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine and the right to peaceful assembly. As such, the president and the government that issued these orders have acted outside the law.
The community of the Ukrainian Catholic University expresses its strong opposition to the transgressions committed and demands those who ordered this bloody act as well as their immediate perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The boundless cynicism and duplicity of the government is shocking. For some time the president of Ukraine and the highest governmental structures tirelessly convinced the citizens of Ukraine that the European choice of our country is natural, essential, and inevitable. The European vector of Ukraine gained the force of the law. By abruptly changing the course to the opposite direction, the government violated the established law and its promises and now conceals its crimes with lies and violence.
For this stunning design of lies and wickedness of the government and its political support, the Party of Regions must bear political responsibility.
We appeal to the academic community of universities and other educational institutions of Ukraine to protect the student youth of our country and publicly declare their opposition. How many signs do we still need see in order to recognize what and who is genuine and what and who is fake, and take the proper measures?
We especially appeal to those rectors and faculty members who at the time of communist totalitarianism and during the civic movements in 1991 and 2004 lacked the courage to stand on the side of truth. The world has changed, and during the information age you cannot hide safely behind your indifference. Instead, today you have the opportunity to change the image of your moral, civic, and professional legacy in the eyes of younger generations, which are now looking at you from the wreckage of EuroMaidan. Do not waste this chance!
We call on churches and religious organizations in Ukraine to publicly protect the injured and offended youth with unconditional solidarity and support. On this bloody morning the injured students sought protection and asylum in the walls of a church: Is there a better symbol for the revival of the traditional safeguarding role of the Church? We call on churches and religious communities to organize a national prayer for Ukrainian youth and the civilized democratic future of our country.
We call on law enforcement officers not to sin! It is better to be out of work than to carry out criminal orders. Remember, this government will also betray you by putting all the blame for the crime on you.
Finally, we turn to the government officials who are still able to hear the voice of warning. For three and a half years Ukraine has witnessed cynical lies, manipulation, falsification, selective justice, and economic plunder. On the issue of Ukraine’s European choice, we are seeing an escalation of the sin of the state leadership: that what began with deceit, turned into violence against the defenseless. Thus, our protest is primarily spiritual.
It is time to stop! It is possible to turn back by recognizing your own wrongdoings. It is better to suffer certain responsibility than, as in the recent cases of other dictators, to be swept away by an avalanche of popular anger. We welcome the first examples of senior government officials who found remarkable courage and effectively condemned the criminal acts by voluntary resigning.
The current trial is a great test for our and your conscience, the dear University community, and all people of good will. The students sought no political privilege but to ensure the European future of their country. Today we have to prove that we are not guided by revenge but stand for the truth.
That a struggle for a better future has to shed blood in an armed retaliation is not true. In the twentieth century, both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, while standing on a platform of non-violent civil resistance, radically changed the face of their continents and even the superpower: both the United Kingdom and America, which opposed the demonstrators, finally recognized their own wrongdoings. Is it necessary to explain this with the love and peace that shone during the “Granite Revolution,” “Orange Revolution,” and on the EuroMaidan?
The key to overcoming the evil is the posture of a Christian or of a person of peace and love. We, Ukrainians, have experienced a lot of pain, but have always been convinced that sooner or later the truth will prevail. We must not allow anger and impatience to disturb the inner peace that is inherent in the people who defend the truth! We are called on to emit this certainty – especially now, when the government is full to the brim with sin, is undergoing such odious convulsions. The evil which pulsates in our society can be expelled only by prayer and fasting – and by the bright belief that not demons, but God is the Lord of our history, present – and our future.