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Priests should not be involved in politics, says Ukrainian Catholic leader

August 01, 2013

The head of the largest Eastern Catholic church said in an interview that priests should not be involved in politics.

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church also decried government interference in ecclesial affairs.

“We have publicly stated that involvement in politics is not for priests,” he said, according to a report by the Religious Information Service of Ukraine. “If a priest feels that he wants to be a deputy” – a reference to members of parliament – “then it means that he does not understand his mission.”

“Furthermore, why does the state now focus so much attention on the Church? I think it is an attempt, to a certain extent, to find a state church,” he added. “The Church should not give in, it must preserve its freedom, otherwise it will become as discredited as the government structures are today.”


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  • Posted by: Baseballbuddy - Aug. 01, 2013 9:33 PM ET USA

    I agree. It's one thing for priests to reach out to the world; quite another to become embroiled in politics and getting government funding. It compromises the Church's motives when it seeks to gain favor with a government.

  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Aug. 01, 2013 6:44 PM ET USA

    Priests should not be candidates for public office. However, priests and the Church should oppose public policy that supports evil.

  • Posted by: unum - Aug. 01, 2013 6:20 PM ET USA

    I think Archbishop Shevchuk is on to something about the escalating conflict between church and state. The USCCB should pay attention!