In the UGCC they urge media to talk more about the social orphanhood

Sunday, 02 December 2012, 12:15
On the 30th of November, within the frames of the VI Social Days of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, in the Institute of Journalism of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, the roundtable discussion, "Social orphanhood: social responsibility and solidarity as the basis of spirituality", took place. This roundtable was organized by the UGCC in collaboration with the Institute of Journalism. Among the participants were His Beatitude Liubomyr (Husar), the Archbishop Emeritus of the UGCC, Fr. Hryhoriy Kriuchkov from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), other priests, Taras Petriv, Alla Vovk, who are the lecturers at the Institute, and the students.

- The Ukrainian mass media today talks a lot about the politics, elections, government, however, very little about the man - said His Beatitude Liubomyr, in his opening remarks. - And yet it is in man that is the key to everything else, especially in his mind, regarding: who he is, where is he coming from and in which direction. It is in the ability to answer those three questions and in the implementation of this ability, where the freedom is. However, the man not exist on his own, he is always a social being that should communicate with others, should understand himself through others, love them and be responsible for himself and for his neighbor. After all, without loving yourself, you cannot love anyone else.

- That is the kind of social responsibility, which our mass media lacks, as well as the theme of the solidarity in general, and in particular the solidarity during hard times. This is issue should always be reminded to our inactive society, which is more concerned about the state than about its own strength, - added Taras Petriv, who was the moderator at the roundtable discussion.

Professor Alla Vovk moved to the actual theme of orphanhood:

- The fact that in our country today, there are so many children's homes and so many orphans is a shame. Because we do not have, thanks God, neither war, nor hunger or any kind of mass repressions. That's a tragedy. What to do about it? Maybe the public service advertising will help the society? Maybe churches are to care about the orphans? For instance, in Lviv I saw the so-called "Window of Life", which was organized by the UGCC, where the biological parents can give their "unnecessary" baby ...

The responses of all speakers to the question "what to do", in fact, were coming down to: not to think about what the state can do for us, but to become more active and merciful.

- Fortunately, more and more orphans today are living in children's homes of family type - reported Maria Komisarova, the social worker and the graduate from the Institute of Journalism, – however, this is far from solving all of the problems. Suffice it to say, that, according to the data from the community studies, 32% of the orphans do not consider themselves to be happy, 10% do not have any dreams, and 25% are trying to hide from others that they are orphans. Ukrainian journalism should pay more attention to those people and be more socially responsible, because the word can either change the fate of those people for the better or for the worse. I remember how one publication forced the family to stop the process of adoption. And each journalist should keep it in mind.

- Journalists should show examples of people, who are doing good for orphans, not by glorifying them, but just as being an example for others: what can be done, - added spiritual leader of all Ukrainians His Beatitude Liubomyr. - There should be some kind of educational program established. It should always be emphasized that: a child (and in general, any person) has the right to be loved! After all, the absence of love is the orphanage. When I was serving in the United States, there was a man in my parish, who was working in the prison hospital. He conducted interviews with the new-coming patients- prisoners, and he told me that nine out of ten prisoners complained about the lack of love during their childhood.

From what the participants of the roundtable observed, the theme of charity, assistance to orphans would not interfere with the popularity of media, however, on the contrary, society is interested in it- it is not without reason that politicians accentuate on the theme prior to elections.

Naturally, the question arose regarding the political and in general "advertising" charity, which is implemented by the well-off Ukrainians either for the image, or for the money laundering.

- Doing well as an advertisement – may be regarded as love only to themselves, but not for the neighbor - says the Archbishop on this issue. - In general, it does not matter, whether it is a rich person or poor one who is helping them, the important thing is whether the person is good or empty. For example, in Italy, a number of orphanages, charitable women's organizations were founded by very wealthy widows. But the poor will always find something to share - at least a smile, or a wish to have a good day. Or just by calling person - brother. Both in educational institutions and in mass media there should have been conducted some educational projects that would not divide people, but would remind them that all of us are brothers. So, we should not rely, neither on wealthy people, nor on a state, but should do good each day. Although, of course, it is good when a state, at least, does not interfere. In the USA, anyone can pay part of their taxes for the social purposes – to a certain hospital, orphanage or a museum.

Father George drew everybody’s attention to a situation, where even children from the two-parent families, receive almost none of the parental attention:

- it should be pointed out that there was an increase in a number of local private societies - knitting, papercutting, modeling and other things of a kind, everything that we were doing during our childhood our parents. Even some churches such classes are offered. This means that parents have no time to do those activities with their children, and this problem should be constantly reminded, because it is family - the main institution of education, and the atmosphere of communication within this institution is extremely important for a child!

- Here we can mention the children of our migrant workers - continued the theme Alla Vovk. - They have clothes, food, money, sometimes even big money, but they do not have any parental love. They are almost orphans. It is good that some of them receive help from the charitable structure "Caritas".

At the conclusion of the roundtable discussion, participants discussed the issue of "civil marriage", which is considered by a number of people to be one of the reasons for the orphanage. It is interesting, the ministers of the Churches spoke about this form of relationship, even though disapprovingly, but, in a very diplomatic way, but one of the attendant students formulated his position in a considerably sharper way:

- Civil marriage - is just one of the clearest examples of how young people want to avoid the same social responsibility, about which we are talking here.

UGCC Department of Information


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