Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Announcement by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece Regarding Homosexual Marriage and Adoption

The Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece convened in an emergency meeting, today, Tuesday, January 23, 2024, with the sole subject of the announced legislation on marriage and "adoption" in favor of same-sex couples.

After the customary prayer, the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy listened to the presentation of His Eminence Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki, on which a dialogue followed, and unanimously expresses the positions of the Church of Greece on the matter, as follows:

1. The theology of the Church on marriage derives from Holy Scripture, the teaching of the Fathers of the Church and the arrangement of the Mystery of Marriage and is clearly seen in the Service of this Mystery.

The purpose of Christian marriage is the creation of a good marriage and family, the development of children as fruits of the love in Christ of the two spouses and their connection to ecclesiastical life.

The Church accepts for the relationship between man-woman and children that:

a) the duality of the sexes and their complementarity are not social inventions, but come from God ("God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply'...", Genesis 1:27-28),

b) the sanctity of the union of man and woman refers to the relationship between Christ and the Church ("... he who loves his wife loves himself... This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church", Apostle Paul, To the Ephesians 5:28),

c) Christian marriage is not a simple cohabitation agreement, but a Sacred Mystery, through which the grace of God is granted to the communal relationship between a man and a woman with the aim of their common path to theosis – and this blessed path concerns all couples with or without children,

d) father and mother are integral elements of childhood and adult life ("Honor your father and your mother", Exodus 20:12).

2. Obviously the State legislates, but this parameter neither deprives the Church of freedom of speech, nor relieves the Church of the duty of informing the faithful people, nor can it indicate what sin consists of. The Church does not legislate and is not responsible for laws. If she remains silent, however, she bears a heavy responsibility and destroys herself.

3. Since 2015, the cohabitation agreement provides same-sex couples with all the rights and possibilities of marriage with the main exception being the possibility of having children through adoption or surrogate pregnancy.

The slogan of "marriage equality" aims at one goal, the procurement of children by "same-sex couples".

4. It was announced that "same-sex marriage" and "same-sex parenthood" will be allowed through adoption and (in various ways) through surrogacy.

The initiators of the bill and its supporters promote the abolition of fatherhood and motherhood and their transformation into neutral parenthood, the disappearance of gender roles within the family, and put before the interests of future children the sexual choices of homosexual adults.

Under the bill, same-sex single parents will be able to impose on their child the designation of a partner as "father 2" or "mother 2".

5. This legislative initiative condemns future children to grow up without a father or mother in an environment of parental role confusion.

The single-parent family is a different case. It causes deprivation of one parent, but not confusion of parental roles.

In contrast, homosexual cohabitation causes both. In addition, these children will often not have the opportunity to meet their other biological parent.

They will also not have the personal experience of the presence of the opposite sex (as opposed to their "same-sex parents") in a heterosexual relationship.

Children with fathers 1 and 2 or mothers 1 and 2 (or more) will be the victims of an unnatural birth mechanism.

6. It was announced that: a) it will be allowed for "same-sex couples" to adopt jointly and for adoption by the "same-sex spouse" of the parent (it will also apply to today's children from surrogacy), b) it will not be allowed in Greece to surrogate pregnancy in favor of a "same-sex couple", but this will be recognized if it was done legally in another country.

These arrangements will create incentives for the exploitation of vulnerable women.

If the above mentioned applies, it is a mine-laden bill with contradictions and ways to circumvent its prohibitions (through pregnancies abroad) and it is possible that Greece will be condemned by the European Court of Human Rights due to discrimination, in which case the country will be forced to legislate surrogate pregnancy on the territory as well.

7. The bill abolishes not only rules of bioethics, Christian values and the Greek family tradition, but it overturns the rights of future children and gender roles as elements of the cohesion of society – and this concerns everyone, even if they do not accept Christian ethics.

The question that remains unanswered is finally: What is the essential reason for this decision that completely and radically changes the institution of marriage and the status of parenthood and why is it being promoted with such persistence?

8. The Church of Greece recognizes only the Sacred Mystery of Christian marriage and rejects civil marriage regardless of gender.

Here it is opposed to the civil marriage of "same-sex couples" on the additional ground that it inevitably leads to "same-sex parenthood" through adoption or surrogacy.

This legislation conflicts both with Christian anthropology and with society's duty to ensure children's well-being and proper upbringing, but also with the children's right to have paternal and maternal presence and care.

For all the foregoing reasons and with a sense of pastoral responsibility and love, our Holy Church is strongly opposed to the proposed bill.

9. The Holy Synod of the Hierarchy decided on: a) the drafting of a relevant letter with its positions to the honorable members of the Hellenic Parliament, b) the announcement of its positions in the Holy Temples on Sunday, February 4, 2024 and the distribution of a relevant pamphlet "To the People" through the Holy Churches and its website, c) the provision of authorization to each Metropolitan to proceed, within his province and at his discretion, in initiatives to inform and raise awareness regarding the upcoming legislation and the institution of the family.

From the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.