The dignity of the person is the foundation of all social existence. If we are to be worthy of society, we must respect one another, no matter what ideology one professes, what beliefs he has. The Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, said this in the Open Church program on Zhyve TV.
According to the Head of the Church, values cannot be taught to anyone, or learned from a book or some good conversation. “The value must be experienced. Personal experience of value opens it to me. It is the experience of the depth of good that captivates me,” he said.
In his view, there are several basic values that can and should unite us all. “The basic value from which all other goodness stems is the dignity of the human person. Any disregard for human life, any disrespect for the human person is nothing but the experience of evil,” says the Primate.
“If we realize,” the Head of the UGCC assures us, “that we are created in the image and likeness of God, and already carry this highest dignity, then we will value people and human relationships differently. We will then evaluate our actions differently. For every act affects those who do it. After all, a good deed builds me, adds to my dignity. A bad deed humiliates me; it is the moment when I lose the dignity I received from my Father.”
“My respect for man, who bears the the image of God in himself, must be the fundamental value from which everything else grows,” assures the Primate.
He said that he was sometimes asked what the greatest value of the Church is, perhaps having some material things in mind. “And I always answer: people. People are our greatest wealth,” said the Primate.
He remembered the words of His Beatitude Lubomyr, who knew how to say difficult things in simple words. When asked what freedom is, he replied, “It is the ability to do good.” “But this good must be done for the sake of another person. This is the kind of attitude that we, Christians, call love,” added the spiritual leader of the Ukrainians.
The UGCC Department for Information