Christian Social Movement

Christian Social Movement. Political movement that bases its program of social and economic reform on Christian ethics and the main papal encyclicals dealing with social questions. In Galicia at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century the movement was represented by the moderate wing of the populists (see Western Ukrainian Populism), the supporters of the New Era, which was headed by Oleksander Barvinsky and published the newspaper Ruslan. At first the movement was known as the Catholic Ruthenian People's Union (est in 1896); in 1911 it changed its name to the Christian Social party. This party had its representatives in the Austrian parliament and the Galician Diet. It continued to operate under the interwar Polish regime. Its leading members were Anatol Vakhnianyn, Kyrylo Studynsky, and Lev Lopatynsky. At the beginning of the 1930s a part of its active members joined the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance (UNDO), while others founded the Ukrainian Catholic People's party, which published the newspaper Nova zoria in Stanyslaviv. Bishop Hryhorii Khomyshyn supported this party. The Ukrainian Catholic Union, which did not participate in politics but concentrated on social and religious matters, was founded in 1931 in the Lviv archeparchy. Politically the union supported the UNDO.

In Transcarpathia the supporters of the Christian Social Movement formed the Ruthenian Agrarian party in 1920 under the Czechoslovak Republic. In 1924 this party adopted the name Christian People's party. After 1945 no Christian social party was revived abroad. The Ukrainian Christian Movement, which was organized in 1955, continued instead the traditions of the Ukrainian Catholic Union. The program and principles of the Christian Social Movement were elaborated in the Catholic publications that came out in Galicia and abroad. Catholic Action, under the leadership of the church hierarchy, operated independently of the Christian Social Movement. Some of the organizations within the Christian Social Movement that have been mentioned worked closely with the church hierarchy, and some were even dependent on it. For this reason they were accused of clericalism (ie, of church interference in politics) by leftist-socialist and rightist-nationalist circles.

Vasyl Markus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

List of related links from Encyclopedia of Ukraine pointing to Christian Social Movement entry:

A referral to this page is found in 5 entries.