AUGB RESPONSE TO THE TABLET'S DENIAL

14.07.10


The AUGB has reacted to an article written by Jonathan Luxmoore and published in Saturday's edition of The Tablet (10 July) entitled: "Claims of state persecution dismissed".

The full text of the article read: 

"A senior Ukrainian bishop has criticised the head of his country’s Catholic university for claiming he was targeted for security service intimidation and recruitment, writes Jonathan Luxmoore.  “There seems to have been a misunderstanding between him and the authorities, which he hyped up to present himself as a martyr of the Catholic Church,” said Bishop Marian Buczek of Kharkhov-Zaporizia, secretary-general of Ukraine’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference. “In reality, the rights of Churches are protected under the constitution here and I haven’t heard of anyone wishing trouble for Catholics.”  The bishop was speaking after the Catholic university’s US-born rector, Fr Boris Gudziak, alleged in a memorandum that a visiting official from Ukraine’s security service, the SBU, had attempted to recruit him as a “secret collaborator” in undermining academic and religious freedom. Speaking to The Tablet, Bishop Buczek dismissed suggestions of an anti-Catholic campaign under Ukraine’s new head of state, Viktor Yanukevich (SiC)".

The AUGB has written to the editor of The Tablet saying that:  "In the interests of free and impartial journalism, Mr Luxmoore ought to have taken the time to ask Fr. Gudziak about the incident rather than simply seeking half-baked quotes from someone living over 300 miles away in a bid to discredit what was an otherwise extremely disconcerting development in Ukraine on 18 May – both for the Church and all educational establishments..."

Fr Gudziak himself has already commented on Mr Luxmoore's article by unequivocably stating that "the facts of the memorandum on the May 18 incident are disputed by no one including government officials."

He then goes on to say that "the head of the SBU Mr. Khoroshkovsky and the deputy head of the presidential administration and chief Yanukovych spokesperson Hanna Herman came to UCU on June 25. A week later H Herman put out a statement that Mr. Khoroshkovsky issued an apology regarding the May 18th incident and that I accepted.  In fact an apology was not issued, but he hemmed and hawed about the fact that "some of my statements to the press may have been harsh." We have not pressed the details because an announcement of an apology in this context has the same effect as an apology).  If the presidential spokesperson is saying to the public that the head of the SBU went to Lviv to visit  UCU and its rector in order to apologize, it seems to indicate that the presidential administration recognizes that there was something quite serious to apologize about.  When has the head of a former KGB institution done something similar. If everything was on the level and there was no evidence of serious misdeeds there would never have been such a public admission of guilt.  It is not clear what moved the bishop of Kharkiv to make such a statement. One fears to speculate."

 



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