DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     November 29, 1999     vol. 10, no. 226

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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RUSSIAN COURT SAYS SEMINARIANS MAY BE CALLED FOR MILITARY SERVICE

        MOSCOW (CWNews.com/KNS) - Russia's Constitutional Court recently ruled that seminary students are not exempt from being called up for military service in the breakaway region of Chechnya, although students at public universities do have exemptions under the law.

        On October 21, the Constitutional Court declared that Article 24, paragraph 2 of the Federal Law on military service was not in contravention of the Constitution. Under the terms of this law, citizens who are studying in private higher education establishments have no right to defer military service until the completion of their studies, causing panic among seminary students at Orthodox, Catholic, and other schools.

        The court examined complaints from students at a private higher education school was an infringement of the constitutional right to an education, and decreed that the Law on Military Service preserved equality of opportunity insofar as a citizen has the choice of where to pursue a given course of study: either in a state higher education institution, which provides free education and qualifies him for a deferral of military service; or in a private institution which does not qualify for a deferral. Some private colleges and universities can apply for state accreditation which accords the right to defer military service.

        In the Russian Federation, there are currently more than 100 Christian higher education institutions, including Orthodox and Catholic seminaries, theological schools, evangelical seminaries, and universities. Seminaries and church-run universities offer specializations, such as theology and catechetics, which are not included in the list of specializations which have state accreditation.

        Father Pierre Diumulen, rector of the Catholic Seminary in Moscow, noted that following the court decision there has been a marked increase in the number of theological students being called up for military service. Father Diumulen added that a two-year break in study necessitated by military service may well a have detrimental effect on the students studies.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

November 29, 1999       volume 10, no. 226
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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