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Ukrainian Church laments nation’s justice system

October 31, 2011

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church--the largest of the 21 Eastern Catholic churches in communion with the Holy See--is decrying the Ukrainian prison system as “a repressive apparatus for revenge so that a person completely loses his dignity.”

“Our judicial system is as follows: in the Old Testament it was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; now it’s a jaw for a tooth, a head for an eye,” says Father Constantin Penteley, head of the church’s office for penitentiary pastoral care.

There are cases in which someone is detained “so that he signs all the papers against him,” Father Penteley adds. “This is a modern method of torture, because during the judicial investigation, which extends for a long time, usually years, people are so exhausted from waiting for the judicial sentence that he signs papers that say that he agrees sit longer, let’s say for half a year, and confesses to the crime.”

10% of the nation’s 46.4 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics.s


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