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Author Topic: Security Service put pressure on the Rector of the Ukr. Catholic University  (Read 762 times) Average Rating: 0
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elijahmaria
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« on: May 22, 2010, 12:01:31 PM »

I have often wondered what would be his fate:

http://ukemonde.blogspot.com/

Security Service put pressure on the Rector of the Ukr. Catholic University

Memorandum Regarding the
Visit to UCU of a representative of the
Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) (former KGB)
(responsible for contacts with Churches)
18 May 2009, office of the rector, 9:50-10:34

At 9:27 in the morning Fr. Borys Gudziak received a call on his
private mobile phone from a representative of the Security Service of
Ukraine requesting a meeting. The meeting was scheduled for 20
minutes later at the rectorate of UCU. This official had had contacts
with the UCU rectorate a year ago at the time of the visit to the
university of the then President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko. He had
made a visit to the rectorate in the late afternoon on May 11 with
regard to a request of the Ecumenical and Church History Institutes
to sign an agreement to use the SBU archives. At that time members of
the rectorate were away from the office. He had, what Dr. Antoine
Arjakovsky, director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, called a
"very good meeting."

Upon arrival on May 18 in a polite manner the agent related that
certain political parties are planning protests and demonstrations
regarding the controversial (and in some cases inflammatory) policies
of the new Ukrainian authorities. Students are to be engaged in these
protests. There is a danger that some of these manifestations may be
marred by provocations. He stated that, of course, students are
allowed to protest but that they should be warned by the university
administration that those involved in any illegal activities will be
prosecuted. Illegal activities include not only violent acts but
also, for example, pickets blocking access to the work place of
government officials (or any protests that are not sanctioned by
authorities).

After his oral presentation the agent put on the table between us an
unfolded one-page letter that was addressed to me. He asked me to
read the letter and then acknowledge with a signature my familiarity
with its contents. He stated that after I had read and signed the
letter it would be necessary for him to take the letter back. Since I
could see that the document was properly addressed to me as rector (I
also noticed that it had two signatures giving it a particularly
official character) I replied calmly that any letter addressed to me
becomes my property and should stay with me -- at least in copy form.
Only under these conditions could I agree to even read the letter
(much less sign).

The agent was evidently taken back by my response. It seemed that the
situation for him was without precedent because in my presence using
his mobile phone he called his (local) superiors to ask for
instructions on how to proceed. The superior refused permission to
leave me either the original letter or a copy, saying that the SBU
fears I "might publish it in the internet." I questioned this entire
procedure and the need for secrecy and refused to look at the letter
and read its contents. The young official was disappointed and
somewhat confused but did not exert additional pressure and did not
dispute my argumentation.

Our conversation also had a pastoral moment. I cautioned the agent of
the fact that the SBU as the former KGB, with many employees
remaining from the Soviet times, has a heavy legacy of breaking and
crippling people physically and morally and that he as a young
married person should be careful not to fall into any actions that
would cause lasting damage to his own identity and shame his children
and grandchildren. I sought to express this pastorally as a priest.
To his credit he both acknowledged the past and declared his desire
to serve the needs of Ukrainian citizens. He also asked that I
indicate to him if I feel that he is exercising improper pressure.

Finally, I expressed my and the general population's profound
disappointment that the work of the SBU is so uneven, that security
and police officers live lavishly on low salaries because they are
involved in corrupt activities, and that the legal rights of citizens
and equal application of the law are severely neglected. I gave the
recent example of my cousin Teodor Gudziak, the mayor of Vynnyky, who
in February 2010 (three days after the election of the new president)
was arrested in a fabricated case of bribery that was set up by a
notoriously corrupt political rival and former policemen through the
regional and city police. Despite the fact that two weeks before the
fabricated affair the mayor, based on a vote of the town council, had
given the SBU a video of plainclothes policemen breaking into his
office and safe in city hall in the middle of the night and using
town seals on various documents the SBU took no action. (The
leadership of the Church, specifically Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, fears
that by manipulated association this case may be used as a devise to
compromise the rector of UCU and the whole institution which has a
unique reputation of being free from corruption.) I also related that
I had reliable testimony and audible evidence that my phone is tapped
and has been for many months.

The population of Ukraine continues to fear and distrust both state
security and police personnel because of the woeful track record of
law enforcement and because of the diffuse practice of police
intimidation of honest politicians, journalists, and common citizens,
and the wonton extortion practiced by security institutions and
police with respect to middle and small business. I asked the young
agent to convey these concerns to his superiors. I had the impression
that personally he is open to moral argument but that he also was
simply doing his job. It was clear to me that he was dutifully
"following orders."

During our conversation the agent asked me about the imminent (May
20-22) General Assembly of the Federation of European Catholic
Universities (FUCE) that will be hosted by UCU in Lviv. He
characterized it as an important event (it has received considerable
publicity) and asked about the program and whether it is open to the
public. It was clear that he would have been interested in
participating in the proceedings. I said that the main theme,
"Humanization of society through the work of Catholic universities,"
was announced in a press release, as will be the outcome of the
deliberations. The working sessions of the university rectors,
however, are not open to the public. I explained that the 211 members
of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) and
the 45 members of FUCE follow closely the development of the only
Catholic university in the former Soviet Union. They will be
monitoring the welfare of UCU, especially since in Japan in March at
the annual meeting of the Board of Consultors of IFCU I had the
opportunity to describe some of our socio-political concerns and the
threats to the freedom of intellectual discourse (imposition of
Soviet historical views, rehabilitation of Stalin and Stalinism, to
whom a new monument was unveiled in Zaporizhzhia 5 May 2010) and new
censorship of the press and television, which are incompatible with
normal university life.

Subsequently, as had been arranged at the beginning of the meeting, I
called in the UCU senior vice rector, Dr. Taras Dobko, to whom the
official repeated the SBU's concerns.

Besides noting the SBU's solicitude for stability in Ukrainian
society, there are a few conclusions to be drawn from the encounter
and the proposals that were expressed:

1. Signing a document such as the letter that was presented for
signature to me is tantamount to agreeing to cooperate (collaborate)
with the SBU. The person signing in effect agrees with the contents
of the letter and their implication. In KGB practice getting a
signature on a document that was drafted and kept by the KGB was a
primary method of recruiting secret collaborators.

2. Such methods have no known (to me) precedent in independent
Ukraine in the experience of UCU and of the Lviv National University,
whose longtime rector (and former minister of education, 2008-10),
Ivan Vakarchuk, I consulted immediately after the meeting. These
methods were well known in Soviet times.

3. The confiscation of the letter after signature makes the letter
and signature instruments to be used at the complete discretion of
the SBU.

4. The possible scenarios for the exploitation of such a document
include the following:

a. In case of the arrest of a student, the SBU could confront the
rectorate and charge that the university was informed of the danger
to students and did not take necessary measures to protect them from
violence or legal harm. In this case the university administration
could be charged with both moral and legal responsibility. A charge
with legal ramifications could become an instrument to try to force
the university to compromise on some important principle (freedom of
expression, forms of social engagement and critique, even religious
practice, all of which have precedent in recent history).
Furthermore, the authorities could use such a pretext to exert a high
degree of pressure on the university to curb any and all protest by
students.
b. After a hypothetical arrest of a student or students, the students
and their parents as well as other members of the university
community could be shown the document with which the administration
was warned and counseled to curb student activities. Since the
administration did not stop the students from the activities that
became the pretext for the arrest, parents or others could draw the
conclusion that the university does not have adequate concern for the
welfare of its students. This would be a most effective way of
dividing the university community and undermining the university's
reputation among its most important constituents-the students.

5. The apparent genuine surprise of the agent at my refusal to do as
requested could mean that he is not used to such a reaction. He had
explained to me that he works with clergy on a regular basis. It
could be assumed that other clergy (who work with youth, students,
etc.) have been approached and that they have not refused to sign
such documents.

6. Measures of this nature create apprehension and unease. They are
meant to intimidate university administrations and students. They are
part of a whole pattern of practice that is well known to the
Ukrainian population. The revival of such practices is a conscious
attempt to revive the methods of the Soviet totalitarian past and to
re-instill fear in a society that was only beginning to feel its
freedom.

7. Since only two of the approximately 170 universities of Ukraine
have been voicing there protest regarding recent political and
educational developments and many rectors have been
marshaled/pressured to express their support regarding the turn of
events, it is clear that in recent months fear and accommodation are
returning to higher education at a rapid pace. It can be expected
that UCU will be subject to particular attention and possible
pressure in the coming months. The solidarity of the international
community, especially the academic world, will be important in
helping UCU maintain a position of principle regarding intellectual
and social freedom.

8. Speaking and writing openly about these issues is the most
peaceful and effective manner of counteracting efforts to secretly
control and intimidate students and citizens. As was apparent during
this incident, state authorities are particularly sensitive about
publicity regarding their activity. Information can have a
preemptory, corrective, and curing role when it comes to planned
actions to circumscribe civic freedom, democracy, and the basic
dignity of human beings.

It should be noted that on 11 May 2010, when Ukrainian students were
organizing protest activity in Lviv as well as in Kyiv, a
representative of the office of Ihor Derzhko, the deputy head of the
Lviv Oblast Administration responsible for humanitarian affairs,
called the rectorate and asked for statistics on the number of
students participating in the demonstrations. UCU's response was that
the university does not know how to count in that way.

Please keep UCU and all the students and citizens of Ukraine in your
thoughts and prayers.

Fr. Borys Gudziak
Rector, Ukrainian Catholic University
19 May 2010
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elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2010, 09:29:31 PM »

Is there no one here willing to defend the actions of the SBU?  I find the silence very interesting.

M.


I have often wondered what would be his fate:

http://ukemonde.blogspot.com/

Security Service put pressure on the Rector of the Ukr. Catholic University

Memorandum Regarding the
Visit to UCU of a representative of the
Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) (former KGB)
(responsible for contacts with Churches)
18 May 2009, office of the rector, 9:50-10:34

At 9:27 in the morning Fr. Borys Gudziak received a call on his
private mobile phone from a representative of the Security Service of
Ukraine requesting a meeting. The meeting was scheduled for 20
minutes later at the rectorate of UCU. This official had had contacts
with the UCU rectorate a year ago at the time of the visit to the
university of the then President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko. He had
made a visit to the rectorate in the late afternoon on May 11 with
regard to a request of the Ecumenical and Church History Institutes
to sign an agreement to use the SBU archives. At that time members of
the rectorate were away from the office. He had, what Dr. Antoine
Arjakovsky, director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, called a
"very good meeting."

Upon arrival on May 18 in a polite manner the agent related that
certain political parties are planning protests and demonstrations
regarding the controversial (and in some cases inflammatory) policies
of the new Ukrainian authorities. Students are to be engaged in these
protests. There is a danger that some of these manifestations may be
marred by provocations. He stated that, of course, students are
allowed to protest but that they should be warned by the university
administration that those involved in any illegal activities will be
prosecuted. Illegal activities include not only violent acts but
also, for example, pickets blocking access to the work place of
government officials (or any protests that are not sanctioned by
authorities).

After his oral presentation the agent put on the table between us an
unfolded one-page letter that was addressed to me. He asked me to
read the letter and then acknowledge with a signature my familiarity
with its contents. He stated that after I had read and signed the
letter it would be necessary for him to take the letter back. Since I
could see that the document was properly addressed to me as rector (I
also noticed that it had two signatures giving it a particularly
official character) I replied calmly that any letter addressed to me
becomes my property and should stay with me -- at least in copy form.
Only under these conditions could I agree to even read the letter
(much less sign).

The agent was evidently taken back by my response. It seemed that the
situation for him was without precedent because in my presence using
his mobile phone he called his (local) superiors to ask for
instructions on how to proceed. The superior refused permission to
leave me either the original letter or a copy, saying that the SBU
fears I "might publish it in the internet." I questioned this entire
procedure and the need for secrecy and refused to look at the letter
and read its contents. The young official was disappointed and
somewhat confused but did not exert additional pressure and did not
dispute my argumentation.

Our conversation also had a pastoral moment. I cautioned the agent of
the fact that the SBU as the former KGB, with many employees
remaining from the Soviet times, has a heavy legacy of breaking and
crippling people physically and morally and that he as a young
married person should be careful not to fall into any actions that
would cause lasting damage to his own identity and shame his children
and grandchildren. I sought to express this pastorally as a priest.
To his credit he both acknowledged the past and declared his desire
to serve the needs of Ukrainian citizens. He also asked that I
indicate to him if I feel that he is exercising improper pressure.

Finally, I expressed my and the general population's profound
disappointment that the work of the SBU is so uneven, that security
and police officers live lavishly on low salaries because they are
involved in corrupt activities, and that the legal rights of citizens
and equal application of the law are severely neglected. I gave the
recent example of my cousin Teodor Gudziak, the mayor of Vynnyky, who
in February 2010 (three days after the election of the new president)
was arrested in a fabricated case of bribery that was set up by a
notoriously corrupt political rival and former policemen through the
regional and city police. Despite the fact that two weeks before the
fabricated affair the mayor, based on a vote of the town council, had
given the SBU a video of plainclothes policemen breaking into his
office and safe in city hall in the middle of the night and using
town seals on various documents the SBU took no action. (The
leadership of the Church, specifically Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, fears
that by manipulated association this case may be used as a devise to
compromise the rector of UCU and the whole institution which has a
unique reputation of being free from corruption.) I also related that
I had reliable testimony and audible evidence that my phone is tapped
and has been for many months.

The population of Ukraine continues to fear and distrust both state
security and police personnel because of the woeful track record of
law enforcement and because of the diffuse practice of police
intimidation of honest politicians, journalists, and common citizens,
and the wonton extortion practiced by security institutions and
police with respect to middle and small business. I asked the young
agent to convey these concerns to his superiors. I had the impression
that personally he is open to moral argument but that he also was
simply doing his job. It was clear to me that he was dutifully
"following orders."

During our conversation the agent asked me about the imminent (May
20-22) General Assembly of the Federation of European Catholic
Universities (FUCE) that will be hosted by UCU in Lviv. He
characterized it as an important event (it has received considerable
publicity) and asked about the program and whether it is open to the
public. It was clear that he would have been interested in
participating in the proceedings. I said that the main theme,
"Humanization of society through the work of Catholic universities,"
was announced in a press release, as will be the outcome of the
deliberations. The working sessions of the university rectors,
however, are not open to the public. I explained that the 211 members
of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) and
the 45 members of FUCE follow closely the development of the only
Catholic university in the former Soviet Union. They will be
monitoring the welfare of UCU, especially since in Japan in March at
the annual meeting of the Board of Consultors of IFCU I had the
opportunity to describe some of our socio-political concerns and the
threats to the freedom of intellectual discourse (imposition of
Soviet historical views, rehabilitation of Stalin and Stalinism, to
whom a new monument was unveiled in Zaporizhzhia 5 May 2010) and new
censorship of the press and television, which are incompatible with
normal university life.

Subsequently, as had been arranged at the beginning of the meeting, I
called in the UCU senior vice rector, Dr. Taras Dobko, to whom the
official repeated the SBU's concerns.

Besides noting the SBU's solicitude for stability in Ukrainian
society, there are a few conclusions to be drawn from the encounter
and the proposals that were expressed:

1. Signing a document such as the letter that was presented for
signature to me is tantamount to agreeing to cooperate (collaborate)
with the SBU. The person signing in effect agrees with the contents
of the letter and their implication. In KGB practice getting a
signature on a document that was drafted and kept by the KGB was a
primary method of recruiting secret collaborators.

2. Such methods have no known (to me) precedent in independent
Ukraine in the experience of UCU and of the Lviv National University,
whose longtime rector (and former minister of education, 2008-10),
Ivan Vakarchuk, I consulted immediately after the meeting. These
methods were well known in Soviet times.

3. The confiscation of the letter after signature makes the letter
and signature instruments to be used at the complete discretion of
the SBU.

4. The possible scenarios for the exploitation of such a document
include the following:

a. In case of the arrest of a student, the SBU could confront the
rectorate and charge that the university was informed of the danger
to students and did not take necessary measures to protect them from
violence or legal harm. In this case the university administration
could be charged with both moral and legal responsibility. A charge
with legal ramifications could become an instrument to try to force
the university to compromise on some important principle (freedom of
expression, forms of social engagement and critique, even religious
practice, all of which have precedent in recent history).
Furthermore, the authorities could use such a pretext to exert a high
degree of pressure on the university to curb any and all protest by
students.
b. After a hypothetical arrest of a student or students, the students
and their parents as well as other members of the university
community could be shown the document with which the administration
was warned and counseled to curb student activities. Since the
administration did not stop the students from the activities that
became the pretext for the arrest, parents or others could draw the
conclusion that the university does not have adequate concern for the
welfare of its students. This would be a most effective way of
dividing the university community and undermining the university's
reputation among its most important constituents-the students.

5. The apparent genuine surprise of the agent at my refusal to do as
requested could mean that he is not used to such a reaction. He had
explained to me that he works with clergy on a regular basis. It
could be assumed that other clergy (who work with youth, students,
etc.) have been approached and that they have not refused to sign
such documents.

6. Measures of this nature create apprehension and unease. They are
meant to intimidate university administrations and students. They are
part of a whole pattern of practice that is well known to the
Ukrainian population. The revival of such practices is a conscious
attempt to revive the methods of the Soviet totalitarian past and to
re-instill fear in a society that was only beginning to feel its
freedom.

7. Since only two of the approximately 170 universities of Ukraine
have been voicing there protest regarding recent political and
educational developments and many rectors have been
marshaled/pressured to express their support regarding the turn of
events, it is clear that in recent months fear and accommodation are
returning to higher education at a rapid pace. It can be expected
that UCU will be subject to particular attention and possible
pressure in the coming months. The solidarity of the international
community, especially the academic world, will be important in
helping UCU maintain a position of principle regarding intellectual
and social freedom.

8. Speaking and writing openly about these issues is the most
peaceful and effective manner of counteracting efforts to secretly
control and intimidate students and citizens. As was apparent during
this incident, state authorities are particularly sensitive about
publicity regarding their activity. Information can have a
preemptory, corrective, and curing role when it comes to planned
actions to circumscribe civic freedom, democracy, and the basic
dignity of human beings.

It should be noted that on 11 May 2010, when Ukrainian students were
organizing protest activity in Lviv as well as in Kyiv, a
representative of the office of Ihor Derzhko, the deputy head of the
Lviv Oblast Administration responsible for humanitarian affairs,
called the rectorate and asked for statistics on the number of
students participating in the demonstrations. UCU's response was that
the university does not know how to count in that way.

Please keep UCU and all the students and citizens of Ukraine in your
thoughts and prayers.

Fr. Borys Gudziak
Rector, Ukrainian Catholic University
19 May 2010
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John of the North
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tgild
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2010, 09:56:53 PM »

Is there no one here willing to defend the actions of the SBU?  I find the silence very interesting.

M.

Were you expecting us to defend the actions of the SBU??
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ialmisry
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2010, 10:03:49 PM »

Is there no one here willing to defend the actions of the SBU?  I find the silence very interesting.

M.


I have often wondered what would be his fate:

http://ukemonde.blogspot.com/

Security Service put pressure on the Rector of the Ukr. Catholic University

Memorandum Regarding the
Visit to UCU of a representative of the
Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) (former KGB)
(responsible for contacts with Churches)
18 May 2009, office of the rector, 9:50-10:34

At 9:27 in the morning Fr. Borys Gudziak received a call on his
private mobile phone from a representative of the Security Service of
Ukraine requesting a meeting. The meeting was scheduled for 20
minutes later at the rectorate of UCU. This official had had contacts
with the UCU rectorate a year ago at the time of the visit to the
university of the then President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko. He had
made a visit to the rectorate in the late afternoon on May 11 with
regard to a request of the Ecumenical and Church History Institutes
to sign an agreement to use the SBU archives. At that time members of
the rectorate were away from the office. He had, what Dr. Antoine
Arjakovsky, director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, called a
"very good meeting."
Antoine Arjakovsky came to our parish last Mother's Day. Since I left early to have brunch with my mother, I missed his talk (I did have time to hear him praise the move of the Vatican's Ukrainian cathedral from Lviv to Kiev, but didn't have time to condemn it as warranted).  However our Romanians evidently gave him a tongue lashing, chief of which a demeur lady whom I'd never heard a cross word from the years she has been coming.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
elijahmaria
Taxiarches
**********
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Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Posts: 6,473



WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2010, 08:29:04 AM »

Is there no one here willing to defend the actions of the SBU?  I find the silence very interesting.

M.

Were you expecting us to defend the actions of the SBU??

Very little surprises me in life.

M.
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Orest
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Posts: 980


« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2010, 12:14:21 PM »

Quote
Antoine Arjakovsky came to our parish last Mother's Day. Since I left early to have brunch with my mother, I missed his talk (I did have time to hear him praise the move of the Vatican's Ukrainian cathedral from Lviv to Kiev, but didn't have time to condemn it as warranted).  However our Romanians evidently gave him a tongue lashing, chief of which a demeur lady whom I'd never heard a cross word from the years she has been coming.

Arjakovsky got the same response about 3 years ago when he spoke at the University of Toronto, but from all sides & all academics regardless of Church background.
The man has a degree in sociology I believe and knows nothing about theology. He has no respect in the academic world. He was deemed to have sold his soul to Rome for the money and position at a university by the Orthodox present.  The Catholics were disgusted and questioned why he had been hired at the Catholic University of Lviv if he is not a theologian.
Hasn't he left Ukraine?

« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 12:18:58 PM by Orest » Logged
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