A politician in his spiritual needs must be sincere and bear witness to this in his own affairs, and not only in words. Politicians should not come Church just to improve their ratings.
This was emphasized by the Father and Head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, in an interview for Ukrinform, answering the question: “How can journalists prove that conservatives have the right to leaders who are religious?
The Head of the UGCC believes that the problem arises when a politician becomes dishonest. When he says one thing, and does another; when he declares himself to be a Christian, and in personal or state decisions he acts as if there is no God; if he only loves God and his neighbor one day a week, and on the other day, he despises them, then we can say that he is a Pharisee or a liar.
According to him, we can equally be negatively affected by certain manifestations of religiosity among politicians when they try to use religion for their own purposes.
“The politician who tries to use the opportunity to raise his rating and gain more votes or greater popularity in society, uses the Church and the army as well as volunteers for his narrow political goals,” said the Head of the Church.
And later he added: “We always understand society first of all as a very important public organism. Civil society, active and developed, is a necessary, I would say, maternal foundation for society and state. And here we, as the Greek Catholic Church, realize ourselves as part of this civil society. Civil society must bring forth healthy politicians, create a genuine, authentic political process and active citizens – the builders of their state. It must provide certain sound rules for the state economy. If there is no civil society then everything else is planted somewhere from above or from someone else’s center. That is why the Church considers itself a part of civil society and has the task of educating active honest politicians, businessmen, public activists, those who really will build up all other parts of the public, state mechanism, which we call the Ukrainian State.”
According to the Head of the UGCC, the role and place of the Church is vital to the state, but it must have the limits of its competence. He argues that the Church should provide society, state, politicians, and businessmen with a certain value foundation, rather than participate in policy making itself.
“Today’s Church should not take part in political life, therefore we declare ourselves to be active citizens. We recognize ourselves as active members of civil society. The Church is such an environment that generates values and healthy responsible citizens and figures for the state, but does not take direct participation in the political process and never wants to be proclaimed an instrument for some secular and political purposes. Since there is another way for the Church, which begins to serve not God, but the state: it will sooner or later be doomed,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav.
The UGCC Department for Information