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Author Topic: Battle in Ukraine Continues: Human Rights vs. "Spiritual Values"  (Read 1055 times) Average Rating: 0
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Heorhij
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« on: August 30, 2010, 08:56:07 AM »

I apologize in advance that I am not posting any links to Internet sources, because, so far, the debate goes on in the Ukrainian and the Russian languages. As things get translated into English, I will add links.

Recently, a group of members of the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada, VR) wrote a petition to the President and Prime Minister of Ukraine, asking to revise the currently existing Ukrainian laws from the point of view of principles outlined in the document known as the "Fundamentals of the Teaching of the Russian Orthodox Church About the Human Dignity, Freedom, and Rights." Although there is no personal signature under the petition, the journalists and other experts who are currently discussing this document unanimously define Vadim Kolesnichenko, a representative of the Party of Regions of Ukraine (PRU) as its actual author. Kolesnichenko has not denied so far that he is the document's author.

The petition, essentially, claims that the whole concept of "human rights" is a "liberal Protestant" intellectual construction and it has never worked for Russia or Ukraine, nor will it ever work. It goes on to say that the policies of the Ukrainian state must be based not on this foreign and useless concept but on the idea that there are certain "spiritual values" that the Ukrainian (or Russian) people have "deep inside."

There aren't many specifics in the petition, and yet it makes it clear that profound changes should be made in the attitude of the state authorities toward mass media, art, theatre and cinematography, journalism, and the political mechanisms. There are allusions that the state authorities must have more power to act swiftly in order to stop "indignity" in the media and "chaos" in the political life.

So far, there were two serious comments made on this petition by Ukrainian Orthodox faithful. One came from Archishop +AUGUSTINE (of L'viv and Halych, UOC), who took the podium in the VR and agitated the audience to support the petition. The other is an article, written on the Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU) Web site by Yuriy Chornomorets', an Orthodox layman, a journalist. Mr. Chornomorets' says in his article that the petition is as absurd as it can possibly be. He quotes many Church Fathers and His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, supporting the notion that basic human rights exist to a very large extent because of the ideas of early Christian theologians, and that getting rid of fundamental human rights will lead to autocracy and repressions rather than to the alleged "triumph" of putative "spiritual values."

Overall, the battle over this issue seems to be carried out, as it is always the case in recent years, by the two opposing "camps." One of them is very pro-Russian and anti-Western (PRU in politics, some UOC hierarchs in the Church). The other is pro-Western, pro-European; it does not seem to have a well-defined political base in the VR or in the executive branch of the Ukrainian political machine, but it has a solid support on various public Internet fora and blogs.
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 11:33:18 AM »

I apologize in advance that I am not posting any links to Internet sources, because, so far, the debate goes on in the Ukrainian and the Russian languages. As things get translated into English, I will add links.

Recently, a group of members of the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada, VR) wrote a petition to the President and Prime Minister of Ukraine, asking to revise the currently existing Ukrainian laws from the point of view of principles outlined in the document known as the "Fundamentals of the Teaching of the Russian Orthodox Church About the Human Dignity, Freedom, and Rights." Although there is no personal signature under the petition, the journalists and other experts who are currently discussing this document unanimously define Vadim Kolesnichenko, a representative of the Party of Regions of Ukraine (PRU) as its actual author. Kolesnichenko has not denied so far that he is the document's author.

The petition, essentially, claims that the whole concept of "human rights" is a "liberal Protestant" intellectual construction and it has never worked for Russia or Ukraine, nor will it ever work. It goes on to say that the policies of the Ukrainian state must be based not on this foreign and useless concept but on the idea that there are certain "spiritual values" that the Ukrainian (or Russian) people have "deep inside."

There aren't many specifics in the petition, and yet it makes it clear that profound changes should be made in the attitude of the state authorities toward mass media, art, theatre and cinematography, journalism, and the political mechanisms. There are allusions that the state authorities must have more power to act swiftly in order to stop "indignity" in the media and "chaos" in the political life.

So far, there were two serious comments made on this petition by Ukrainian Orthodox faithful. One came from Archishop +AUGUSTINE (of L'viv and Halych, UOC), who took the podium in the VR and agitated the audience to support the petition. The other is an article, written on the Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU) Web site by Yuriy Chornomorets', an Orthodox layman, a journalist. Mr. Chornomorets' says in his article that the petition is as absurd as it can possibly be. He quotes many Church Fathers and His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, supporting the notion that basic human rights exist to a very large extent because of the ideas of early Christian theologians, and that getting rid of fundamental human rights will lead to autocracy and repressions rather than to the alleged "triumph" of putative "spiritual values."

Overall, the battle over this issue seems to be carried out, as it is always the case in recent years, by the two opposing "camps." One of them is very pro-Russian and anti-Western (PRU in politics, some UOC hierarchs in the Church). The other is pro-Western, pro-European; it does not seem to have a well-defined political base in the VR or in the executive branch of the Ukrainian political machine, but it has a solid support on various public Internet fora and blogs.
Given that Climategate has pulled the double headed eagle rug from under the Green Pope, I am not sure citing EP Bartholomew I on this is going to help this cause.
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 11:34:58 AM »

I doubt that many Church Fathers can be cited to speak to our modern concept of "human rights." Nevertheless I'd like to see who he was citing.
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 01:22:31 PM »

Given that Climategate has pulled the double headed eagle rug from under the Green Pope, I am not sure citing EP Bartholomew I on this is going to help this cause.

Why are you using this derogatory nickname speaking about an Orthodox bishop? Please note that with all my resentment of what Patr. +KIRILL does to my country of birth, I am still not calling him KGB General, or Citizen Gundyaev, etc., on a public Orthodox forum.
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 01:25:11 PM »

I doubt that many Church Fathers can be cited to speak to our modern concept of "human rights." Nevertheless I'd like to see who he was citing.

I will try to set aside some tim this week and translate his article. However, it is difficult because he refers to documents published in Ukrainian and/or Russian. I wish I could have someone to help, because there is a whole lot of stuff to translate.
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 01:54:41 PM »


You could just throw it in Google Translate.  While it's not absolutely accurate, it will give a general idea of the article.
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 01:58:34 PM »


You could just throw it in Google Translate.  While it's not absolutely accurate, it will give a general idea of the article.


Yes, but there are several of them, and I don't even have the full Ukrainian text of all of them, just quotes. Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 04:10:16 PM »

I am not sure what you find offensive. His All Holiness has been referred to as both the Green Pope and the Green Patriarch in the media for years. What is offensive is your insinuation that Patriarch Kirill is doing anything to "your" country other than loving it and making sure that it is spiritually cared for by a canonical church.

Given that Climategate has pulled the double headed eagle rug from under the Green Pope, I am not sure citing EP Bartholomew I on this is going to help this cause.

Why are you using this derogatory nickname speaking about an Orthodox bishop? Please note that with all my resentment of what Patr. +KIRILL does to my country of birth, I am still not calling him KGB General, or Citizen Gundyaev, etc., on a public Orthodox forum.
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 04:18:36 PM »


...okay...here we go again.
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2010, 04:23:25 PM »

I am not sure what you find offensive. His All Holiness has been referred to as both the Green Pope and the Green Patriarch in the media for years.

So you are saying it's OK to refer to him as a Pope?
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 04:31:11 PM »

Depends on its context. It means Father and was originally a title widely used even by parish priests. So there is nothing wrong with it in that simple context. However, if someone is trying to attribute the claimed powers of the Roman Papacy and attribute them to any Eastern Orthodox Bishop than yes I could see it being offensive and dangerous. However, I didn't see any thing like that in his post. I also don't think it is ok to refer to HAH as the head of the church or the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox yet it still happens.

I am not sure what you find offensive. His All Holiness has been referred to as both the Green Pope and the Green Patriarch in the media for years.

So you are saying it's OK to refer to him as a Pope?
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2010, 04:31:58 PM »

Is this topic about events in Ukraine specifically or human rights vs. spiritual values generally?
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2010, 05:52:59 PM »

Is this topic about events in Ukraine specifically or human rights vs. spiritual values generally?

Generally. Ukraine is an example.
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 08:38:15 PM »

I am not sure what you find offensive. His All Holiness has been referred to as both the Green Pope and the Green Patriarch in the media for years. What is offensive is your insinuation that Patriarch Kirill is doing anything to "your" country other than loving it and making sure that it is spiritually cared for by a canonical church.
Why are you putting "your" in quotation marks? I was born in Ukraine and I lived there till 1990, when I hit 32. Can it be anything but MY country without quotation marks?

And may I ask you, who are you and what do you KNOW (not presume but know) about what Patr. +KIRILL is doing to Ukraine?
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2010, 08:44:18 PM »



Everyone knock the semantic games off.

The most basic google search shows that "Green Pope" is used to refer to BENEDCIT XVI, not Patriarch Bartholomew.  If you want to refer to him as the "Green Patriarch," fine.  We expect and demand proper respect for Orthodox clergy, from the lowest orders to the patriarchs. 

ialmisry and ICXCNIKA, if you can't refer to Patriarch Bartholomew by his proper titles, do not refer to him at all.  Next time someone plays semantic games, they are getting an increase in discipline.

And watch the toeing of the politics line.

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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2010, 10:41:45 PM »

I put your in " " marks because its sound like your making it an us vs them argument. It is your homeland, granted. However, you are one of how many people ?  I don't have a vested interest in the Ukraine or Russia. If Ukraine is to have its own administratively independent Church that is fine. However, with the current divisions it is impossible. There must be canonical order first. Now you may feel like the Ukraine is getting a raw deal  but all canonical churches only recognize Metropolitan Volodymyr. I would love for you to tell me what Patriarch Kirill is doing.   

I am not sure what you find offensive. His All Holiness has been referred to as both the Green Pope and the Green Patriarch in the media for years. What is offensive is your insinuation that Patriarch Kirill is doing anything to "your" country other than loving it and making sure that it is spiritually cared for by a canonical church.
Why are you putting "your" in quotation marks? I was born in Ukraine and I lived there till 1990, when I hit 32. Can it be anything but MY country without quotation marks?

And may I ask you, who are you and what do you KNOW (not presume but know) about what Patr. +KIRILL is doing to Ukraine?
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2010, 10:45:46 PM »

I stand corrected. I never knew the current Roman pope was called that. A mistake on my part. I did however refer to His All Holiness by his proper title throughout my post.



Everyone knock the semantic games off.

The most basic google search shows that "Green Pope" is used to refer to BENEDCIT XVI, not Patriarch Bartholomew.  If you want to refer to him as the "Green Patriarch," fine.  We expect and demand proper respect for Orthodox clergy, from the lowest orders to the patriarchs. 

ialmisry and ICXCNIKA, if you can't refer to Patriarch Bartholomew by his proper titles, do not refer to him at all.  Next time someone plays semantic games, they are getting an increase in discipline.

And watch the toeing of the politics line.

Thank you.

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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2010, 11:03:18 PM »

I put your in " " marks because its sound like your making it an us vs them argument. It is your homeland, granted. However, you are one of how many people ?  I don't have a vested interest in the Ukraine or Russia. If Ukraine is to have its own administratively independent Church that is fine. However, with the current divisions it is impossible. There must be canonical order first. Now you may feel like the Ukraine is getting a raw deal  but all canonical churches only recognize Metropolitan Volodymyr. I would love for you to tell me what Patriarch Kirill is doing.   

...once again...the country is referred to as Ukraine, not "the" Ukraine.

I'm just saying....

Wink

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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2010, 11:31:17 PM »

Thanks for reminding me. Must be all the time I spent in The Bronx  Grin

I put your in " " marks because its sound like your making it an us vs them argument. It is your homeland, granted. However, you are one of how many people ?  I don't have a vested interest in the Ukraine or Russia. If Ukraine is to have its own administratively independent Church that is fine. However, with the current divisions it is impossible. There must be canonical order first. Now you may feel like the Ukraine is getting a raw deal  but all canonical churches only recognize Metropolitan Volodymyr. I would love for you to tell me what Patriarch Kirill is doing.   

...once again...the country is referred to as Ukraine, not "the" Ukraine.

I'm just saying....

Wink


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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2010, 11:41:44 PM »

And remember, Ukraine is not weak... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzLtF_PxbYw

Though Kiev international airport is probably the worst I've ever been in.
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2010, 11:53:38 PM »


Really?  I had heard they rebuilt it and other than lacking in Air Conditioning it was state of the art.

I am sad to hear that you found it to be so bad.

When were you there?
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