Final statement of the ECPYN Winter School ‘Morality and Politics. The principles of Christian democracy’
Having gathered in Lviv, Ukraine, from January 7 till 14, to discuss the relation between morality and politics from a Christian democratic perspective, the European Christian Political Youth Network (ECPYN) would like to reassert the importance of moral values in politics and the responsibility of political leaders to lead by example.
The winter school provided many insights in the current state of political and societal moral standards, both in Europe in general and specifically in Ukraine and other European countries. The lectures and discussions provided some profound understandings of the desired relation between morality and politics and how improvements in this respect could be achieved.
It can be concluded that the moral standards of politicians are a reflection of the moral standards of society. In order to improve the moral standards in politics, the moral standards in all of society should hence be improved. What is needed are political, societal, economic and religious leaders, who will lead by example and will work to spread respect for moral standards and thus create a general climate in which morality can thrive. In this cultural climate both the church and individual Christians and all other people of good will, have a responsibility to bear witness of their own moral standards in word and deed.
Those in political office have a special responsibility to conform their political activity and their political decisions to the moral standards to which society would adhere and thus establish a morally sound political and social order. It is merely the essence of a democratic system that the moral standards of the people should be made to bear on and be reflected in the policies of the government. In order for politicians to be able to credibly enact moral policies, they should themselves be persons of impeccable moral conduct and integrity, both in political as in societal and private life.
The winter school was addressed by such eminent speakers as Volodymyr Stretovych MP of the Christian Democratic Union of Ukraine, His Grace Venedict (Aleksiychuk), bishop of the Lviv Cheparchy of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, Mykola Tomenko, vice speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, father Borys Gudziyak, rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) of Lviv, Victor Zhukovsky, editor-in-chief of the magazine ‘Christian and the world’ and professor at the UCU, Catalin Avramescu, professor at the University of Bucharest and adviser to the Romanian president, Vitaliy Shabunin, chairman of the Foundation of Regional Organisation, and many others.
ECPYN will continue to promote the integration of moral values into politics from its Christian democratic perspective and is willing and ready to work with all who would like to strive towards the same goal, be it on the European or on the national or local level.
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This blogspot was started by the participants of the 5th International Summer School of ECPYN in Chisinau, Moldova, August 24-29 2008.