During the 7th ESW a visit was organized to social organizations of Lviv: Lviv Geriatric Home (71, Medova pechera Str.) and a home for orphans, Protection Family House (19 Kryvchytska Road Str.), on October 1.

Participating in the visit were social workers, many students, and Bernard Chevenez, General Secretary of the Social Weeks of France. The purpose of this visit was to demonstrate the practice of social work. The elderly and people with some degree of disability live in the Geriatric Home. The territory of the home has two buildings: one for residents (two persons per room, medical room, kitchen, etc.); the other has a library, assembly hall, pool and gym. "Once there lived up to 600 people, now 70," says Deputy Director, Hanna Ivanivna Kotyk.

In the Protection Family House guests were met by Fr. Mychailo: "Our orphanage is for boys from 6 to 23 years, until the children gain education and settle down. Now it is home to 52 children. They live in little groups by age categories, each with its own living room, kitchen, bathroom. The orphans go to normal schools and it helps them to adapt socially."

As part of the 7th Ecumenical Social Week, a traveling photo exhibit "Charity through the Prism of the Lens" opened on October 1 at UCU. The photo exhibit was opened by a representative of the Ukrainian Charity Forum, Yaryna Homtsiv. "I hope that when viewing the photos you will see how you can take part in social assistance or just get aesthetic pleasure," she said. The exhibit features the 40 best works, which were chosen from 550 photos, participating in the 4th All-Ukrainian Photo Contest "Charity through the Prism of the Lens."

The photos that constitute the exhibit reflect diverse manifestations of good deeds. The works are intended to show the public how easy it is to help others. Special attention is paid to the care of disadvantaged people: orphans, the seriously ill, persons with disabilities and special needs, and older people.

On October 1 the round table "The Formation of a Socially Responsible Society: The European Experience, Ukrainian prospects" was held at UCU.

Olha Rudnieva, director of the Anti-AIDS Foundation, described the experience of Ukraine's first private charitable foundation. The best cures for AIDS are belief and trust. As there is less stigmatization of patients with HIV/AIDS and greater belief in society that people can overcome their illness, Ukraine will overcome the epidemic sooner.

Michelle Dormal, of the L'Arche Community (France), shared the experience of work in this community. In her view, society should be open to work with people with special needs, because in such an interaction the community changes, and ordinary individualistic society becomes a responsible one.

Father Taras Mylian, director of the CF Foundation, spoke about his experience of social service, about how the church can serve society not only with prayer, not only in the spiritual sphere, but also in society.

Bernard Chevenez, General Secretary of the Social Weeks of France, noted that a paradigm of individualism is prevalent now in the world which promotes broad freedoms but ignores duties to the community.

On September 30 a gala dinner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies was held. At UCU the joy of this event was shared not only with the IES staff but also with friends and long-term partners of the institute. There were words of gratitude and admiration for projects that have been implemented over the years.

"Ten years ago, in 2004, Father Borys Gudziak suggested creating the Institute of Ecumenical Studies. For me, personally, it was an existential moment. I remember the atmosphere of friendship at the Ukrainian Catholic University, the dynamics of this institution. It influenced me and encouraged me to head the Institute." The founding director of the IES, Dr. Antoine Arjakovsky, shares his memories Father Ihor Boiko in his welcoming speech noted the importance of the Master's Program in Ecumenical Studies. "The students who came to these lectures were motivated. In their eyes was a desire to learn and know. I still have a close relationship with some of them. What you are doing at the IES is changing society for the better," said Fr. Ihor Boiko. During the dinner, guests shared their memories of activities of the institute. At the end, Rev. Dr. Iwan Dacko summarized the activities of the IES and thanked the staff, friends, partners and founders, thanks to whom the institute can continue to implement unique projects and programs.

From September 30 to October 1 the international conference "Legacy of the Second Vatican Council: In the spirit of Lumen gentium, Unitas redintegratio and Orientalium Ecclesiarum" took place at UCU. The participants talked about
the Church, ecumenism and the role of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

In his report "The Second Vatican Council’s Contribution to a Better Understanding and Appreciation of the Eastern Catholic Churches," Archbishop Cyril Vasil, S.J., Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches (Holy See), noted that the difference between the Western and Eastern Catholic Churches is an indicator of unity.

Rev. Dr. Hyacinthe Destivelle, O.P., Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Holy See), noted in his speech that Pope Francis has put Christian unity and brotherhood in the first place in his pontificate. And Dr. Antoine Arjakovsky, co-director of the Society.Freedom. Peace Department at the Bernardine College (Paris), described the perception of ecumenism by Catholics and Orthodox and expressed confidence that Christian unity is a prerequisite for the conversion of others. Archbishop Filaret (Kucherov), bishop of Lviv and Halych of the UOC (MP), on the second day of the conference presented a study of the history of establishing contacts between the Vatican and the Soviet Union, in particular, the participation of observers of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Second Vatican Council.

As part of the international conference, the collection "Documents of the Second Vatican Council" was presented. A new Ukrainian translation of the edition, complete with comments, was published by the Svichado Publishing House.

On October 1, the round table "The Profession’s Mission: The Journalist’s Responsibility to the Community" was part of the ESW. Participants discussed journalistic standards and the journalist’s need to observe general ethical standards and the media’s responsibility to society.

Media expert Larysa Mudrak noted that information is now being converted into weapons similar to nuclear ones, which are used to disarm the nation. The participants agreed that Ukrainians need substantial media education. During the debate the ways to protect the Ukrainian media space in time of an information war and attempts to establish the boundary between protecting informational identity and censorship were discussed.

Sonia Koshkina, Chief Editor of the online edition "Livyi Bereh," shared her experience of online publications’ work in terms of an undeclared war. Alim Aliyev, co-founder of the initiative Crimea SOS, said that the most important motivation for the organizers of the initiative is the people's faith in the resource. Alim Aliyev said that the main wish of the founders of Crimea SOS is the fastest possible return of Crimea to Ukraine, after which the resource Crimea SOS will cease to exist. Natalia Seliukova, representative of the NGO "Ukrainian Space," declared the need to reform Ukraine's information space.

On September 29, as part of the 7th ESW, the session hall of the Lviv Regional Council hosted an academic conference "The Responsibility of a Christian in Modern Society." The academic conference began with an ecumenical
prayer for peace in Ukraine.
An advisor to the president of Ukraine, head of the Department of Constitutional and Legal Modernization at the
Office of the President of Ukraine, Maryna Stavniychuk, focused on the fact that Christian values should be incorporated into the basis of legal processes in Ukraine.
Professor of Theology at Oxford University Graham Ward in his presentation "The Kingdom of God: The Other Side of Sectarianism," drew attention to the dangers of multiculturalism in the UK experience. The head of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Yevhen Zakharov, analyzed the human rights situation in Ukraine. He noted that political freedom in the country, with the exception of the territory covered with ATO (anti-terrorist operations) and Crimea, is high. However, human rights violations have become the norm. The speech of Ihor Todorov, Ph.D., professor of international relations and foreign policy at Donetsk National University, who outlined the public attitudes of
Donetsk area and causes that have shaped them, ended the conference.

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On September 29 the ceremonial opening of the 7th Ecumenical Social Week, "The Responsibility of a Christian in Modern Society," which ran until October 4, was held at the Lviv City Council. Participating in the press conference were: Ihor Todorov, Ph.D., professor of international relations and foreign policy at Donetsk National University; Iryna Podoliak, head of the Culture Department at the Lviv City Council; and Maria Kandyba, coordinator of the ESW.
"This year has brought a lot of changes to our country, and we have all faced many challenges. We must accordingly respond to this. That is why the organizers of the forum chose the topic "The Responsibility of a Christian in Modern Society," said Maria Kandyba.
Iryna Podolak noted that from its inception to the present day the Ecumenical Social Week has developed significantly and pointed out that Lviv is a great platform for initiatives in Ukraine, which often occur there for the first time.
Ihor Todorov said that the forum deserves total support and respect.

“With all my heart I bless your work related to the organising and conducting this event,” – Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki said in his letter.

Also, Lviv Metropolitan of the Roman Catholic Church said that the Lviv Archdiocese will inform the parishioners about the 7th Ecumenical Social Week and will encourage them to participate actively in the event.

We’d like to mention that the 7th Ecumenical Social Week will be held in Lviv from September 29th to October 4th, 2014.

Also, we’d like to invite clergy and parishioners of different denominations, representatives of social, community and youth organisations, charities, universities, businesses, government establishments and others to participate in the Forum.

Details on the website esweek.org.ua