“For a person is a slave of whatever overcomes him” – reflections of His Beatitude Sviatoslav on different addiction

Friday, 12 May 2017, 10:59

Head and Father of UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav explained on air of a program “An Open Church” on “Live.TV” what is the cause of different kinds of addiction and how we should approach addicted people.

-          According to Church interpretation, every sin is an addiction. However, addiction cannot be always called as a sin and a person cannot be judged, respectively.

-          According to the Christian vision, there are three main dimensions of a personality: spiritual life (spiritual dimension), psyche (soul dimension), body (physiology dimension). In the opinion of Fathers and Teachers of Church, the root of addiction lays in the spiritual dimension.

-          God created a person for an eternal and real happiness. Therefore, craving for God, Who is real and eternal happiness, is laid in a human. However, because of a sin, craving for an eternal happiness changes into a search for a swift and cheap pleasure. Then all soul forces find themselves broken, disoriented, and craving for God turns into unregulated desires which, according to the teaching of Church, are called passions. A passionate creature, wounded human’s soul always seeks for a pleasure. But there is no such a pleasure which can completely and for always satisfy things, which a human’s heart is looking for. Such a disorder leads a person to different kinds of addiction.

-         When a person loses control over herself, loses the highest level of her liberty, she starts being a slave of a sin. Apostle Paul says, that: “For a person is a slave of whatever overcomes him” (2 Peter 2,19).

-        What is going on within a person’s spiritual dimension has an influence on her psyche and body dimension, affecting it. Such person needs a helping hand and be looked at herself with the eyes of God.

-          We mustn’t judge an addicted one but we must find a way to deliver her and give back an ability to control herself, bringing her back to freedom.

-          When a person is addicted and cannot refuse the object of her desire, she needs a help. Since a level of her conscience and will is limited. We cannot assert that a person being in such circumstances is lost and condemned.

-          We shouldn’t convict an addicted person, telling, she is a sinner, whose destiny is an eternal death. Because sin as a deed is a conscious and voluntary choice of evil, voluntary trespass of some God’s Commandment. There are some states when a person loses an ability to act consciously and freely, when she loses an ability of “wholeness of human’s acts”, and then such a person needs a liberation.


The UGCC Department for Information