17.01.2014

Statement of the Ukrainian Catholic University on the Further Deterioration of the Sociopolitical Situation in Ukraine


 UCLGB

“We urge the national deputies from the pro-government parties to be aware that by their votes they have encroached on the Constitution of Ukraine. [And we urge them] immediately to restore constitutional order in the state.

“In its very essence this brutally enacted legislation violates the democratic rights and constitutional freedoms of the citizens of Ukraine, in particular freedom of conscience, view point, speech, information, assembly, association, communication, movement, and the rights to property and privacy. We want to recall: the government is not the source of human rights. Human dignity is. And so the government cannot take away that which is given to the people not by it but by God.” – An excerpt from the “Statement of the Ukrainian Catholic University on the Further Deterioration of the Sociopolitical Situation in Ukraine,”

Statement of the Ukrainian Catholic University

on the Further Deterioration of the Sociopolitical Situation in Ukraine

17 January 2014

Not everyone in Ukraine celebrated Christmas: the authorities used this time to prepare a package of laws that will transform Ukraine into a police state. The authorities took the next step that will lead to a further escalation of political opposition and tension in society.

The deputies from the pro-government party must have known that the demonstrative violation of regulations in passing law # 3879 makes it illegitimate and unacceptable in the eyes of the people. Their blatant disrespect for the thoughts of their opponents and the forceful enactment of their position is an unacceptable disregard for parliamentary principles and democracy. It is difficult to expect citizens to respect any law if the deputies themselves so openly and cynically violate the principles of the rule of law.

In its very essence this brutally enacted legislation violates the democratic rights and constitutional freedoms of the citizens of Ukraine, in particular freedom of conscience, view point, speech, information, assembly, association, communication, movement, and the rights to property and privacy. We want to recall: the government is not the source of human rights. Human dignity is. And so the government cannot take away that which is given to the people not by it but by God.

We also want to recall that in accord with Article 22 of the Constitution of Ukraine “Constitutional rights and freedoms are guaranteed and shall not be abolished. The content and scope of existing rights and freedoms shall not be diminished in the adoption of new laws or in the amendment of laws that are in force.”

The law in question also contradicts international agreements, for example, the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which, according to Article 9 of the Constitution, is part of the national legislation of Ukraine.

The shining memory of students and teachers of the Lviv Theological Academy – the historical predecessor of our university – Fathers Mykola Konrad, Andrii Ishchak, Roman Lysko, Oleksii Zarytskyi and other martyrs and confessors who gave their lives, defending God-given human dignity in the dark times of Nazi and Communist totalitarianism on Ukrainian lands, do not give us the right to be silent when an offense is committed against the citizens of Ukraine today.

We urge the national deputies from the pro-government parties to be aware that by their votes they have encroached on the Constitution of Ukraine. [And we urge them] immediately to restore constitutional order in the state.

They want to convince us that this is the end of democracy in Ukraine. The birth of the Son of God reminds us powerfully and joyfully that, as the repressions of Herod become stronger, so the time of Truth becomes closer. This is the start of our new struggle for truth, our new pilgrimage to our own, God-given dignity. Truth and dignity are inseparable, truth and dignity will overcome!

The Rector’s Office




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