Ministry of Justice sets the Pastoral Council for Religious Care in Penitentiary System

17 August 2017, 14:30 | Church-state relations | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

The Pastoral Council for Religious Care in Ukraine’s penitentiary will now work under the Ministry of Justice. The respective Regulation was approved by Decree № 2170/5of the Ministry of Justice of 05.07.2017, Іrs.in.ua reports.

 

According to the Regulations, the Pastoral Council is a constantly operating interdenominational  advisory body that works on a voluntary basis. Its members may be official representatives of registered religious centers and departments.

 

The Council will coordinate the pastoral care of the convicted and detained persons who stay in the facilities, penal institutions and investigative departments of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine and the personnel of these facilities and institutions.

 

In its activity the Pastoral Council is guided by the Law of God along with the Constitution and legislation of Ukraine.

 

“It is very important to create conditions for the daily ministry of the pastors of different confessions in institutions of pre-trial detention, where labor is more individual. To do this, we need appropriate rooms in each prison cell. Also, for the simultaneous functioning of the chaplains of different denominations there are not enough staff, whose functions include the support of a specific chaplain. Therefore, the process of developing clear approaches to such challenges continues,” Chairman of the Pastoral Council Archpriest Constantine Panteley commented on this event for the IRS.

 

The Pastoral Council will fulfill the following main tasks:

 

1. Coordination of measures of pastoral care for convicts and persons taken into custody, pastoral care for the personnel of bodies and institutions, as well as making proposals to the leadership of the Ministry of Justice on the above issues;

 

2. The pursuit of tolerant benevolent relationships, mutual respect between believers of various Churches (religious organizations), prevention and elimination of the causes of possible interconfessional contradictions, development of inter-confessional cooperation in pastoral care in organs and institutions;

 

3. Discussion of topical issues and preparation of mutually agreed proposals for draft normative legal regulations on humanization, implementation by citizens of the right to freedom of conscience, reforming the penitentiary system;

 

4. Monitoring the state of observance of the right to freedom of thought and religion in penitentiary institutions and investigative detention centers.

 

The functions of the Pastoral Council will also include:

 

1. Approval of candidates for positions of clergymen (chaplains) in penitentiary bodies and institutions authorized by the governing bodies of the Churches (religious organizations) for the activities of pastoral care of convicts.

 

2. Restoration (construction, reconstruction) of religious buildings and other premises for worship and religious gatherings at the penitentiary institutions and institutions and organization of their activities.

 

3. Study and analysis of the results of pastoral work with convicts.

 

4. Organization of spiritual, educational and charity measures for interconfessional cooperation in the organs and institutions, as well as providing assistance for education, correction and reintegration into the society of former convicts.

 

5. Approval of the procedure for special training of clergymen (chaplains) and empowerment of pastoral care activities of convicts, persons taken into custody, personnel of bodies and institutions, in consultation with the Ministry of Justice.

 

As reported, after the liquidation of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine in May 2016, the Ministry of Justice was granted the powers of the main agency in the system of central executive authorities, which ensures the formation and implementation of state policy in the field of execution of criminal penalties and probation.

 

From now on, the Pastoral Council, which operated under the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, will resume its activities with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

 

As it was reported, adopted in May 2015, legislative changes stipulate that the central executive body, implementing the state policy in the field of execution of criminal penalties, in order to coordinate pastoral care of convicts, establishes an advisory body, which includes representatives of interested religious centers and departments

 

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