Theological Canonical Commission of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Published Conclusion on Abortions and Same-Sex Marriages Recognition
KYIV — On January 21, 2010, the Theological Canonical Commission to the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) published a theological conclusion on abortion and the recognition of the homosexual marriages, reports the web site of the UOC-MP.
This step is connected with the fact that the regular session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is to take place on January 27 in Strasbourg, is going to consider a number of issues concerning religious freedom in Europe and the activity of the religious organizations in the field of morality in the society. One of the issues of the draft agenda of the session is dedicated to the problem of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The PACE Committee for Legal Affairs and Human Rights notes on that issue: “Sexual orientation – heterosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality – is an inherent part of each of us. In conformity with international law no one can be treated different on the grounds of his sexual orientation.”
Summing up their analysis of the given problem, the PACE committee stated that "these infringements on human rights are to be put to an end, as well as their provocations on the part of public leaders.” However, the main thesis of the report was the suggestion that the states-members of the European Council are to provide legal recognition of sexual partnerships, in particular, by giving them the status of "immediate family," and the possibility to be the parents to each other's children, if the right of each partner to adopt a child of another partner is not ensured."
In accordance with the considerations mentioned, the PACE Committee for Legal Affairs and Human Rights proposed during the January session to vote for the draft resolution and the draft recommendation (document №12087), by which the states-members of the European Council are to be guided, also stipulating for alterations to the national legislation in this sphere.
In response to such actions the Theological Canonical Commission to the Holy Synod of the UOC-MP was given a blessing by its head Metropolitan Volodymyr to express the official position of the church on the given issue. The result of the commission's work was the document stating:
“In recent years an important human achievement on the way to overcoming a moral crisis, which was embodied in the creation of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, is being persistently systematically discredited. In particular, it manifests itself in the distortion of such fundamental concepts as life, human dignity, marriage, and family. Thus, the rejection of morality rules occurs together with artificial negation of their culture-creating significance for the modern civilization. Respecting the freedom of the ideological choice of everyone, the Orthodox Church determinately forewarns the attempts to falsify the concept of morality, inconceivable without its evangelical apprehension...
The very fact of a discussion concerning the legalization of the artificial interruption of pregnancy for so-called medical reasons testifies the deep destructive phenomenon characterizing today’s moral state of humanity of the 21st century. All the conscious members of the society are to offer decisive rebuff to the manifesting tendencies to raise the legalization of abortions at the level of important distinctive features of democratization. In this affair the church calls on the representatives of secular science for active cooperation. Since the ones justifying such a kind of murder of humans as abortion proceed from the totally antiscientific view of the human embryo as a part of the mother's organism, an abstract biological material devoid of the property of self-identification.
Legalizing abortion the state legalizes mortal sin, not simply disrupting the norms of Christian morals, but habituating the society to the fact that the murder may be a social standard. The consequences of this destructive phenomenon stimulate the development of aggression in all its manifestations, exterminating in the consciousness of humanity the respect to life as the fundamental right of man. Under the condition of rapid development of the scientific-technical process there is a growing importance of propagating a responsible attitude of everyone both towards one's own life as well as to the being of humanity as a whole. The issue of the free permission of artificial interruption of pregnancy is connected with the propaganda of irresponsible attitude to one's behavior when in pursuit of comfort one gets used to avoiding responsibility for the infringement of rights of another human. Thus, the discrimination of a child, his deprival of the sacred right to be born, is legislatively confirmed.
Manifestation of the moral degradation of the society is a persistent imposture to it of the perverted concept of marriage. Upon that, there is an attempt of presenting various sexual perversions as a natural alternative to the God-established relations between man and woman.
The Orthodox Church accepts the choice of any person, including the choice of sexual self-identification. However, decisive rebuff is to be given to the attempts to present homosexuality as a trendy lifestyle, to the glorification of that sin and as a consequence – to undermine fundamental bases of family relations, which are integral parts of social relations. Hiding behind the slogans of protection of the rights of people with a so-called ‘non-traditional sexual orientation,’ their adherents created a background in the society, upon which the large-scale discrimination of natural matrimonial relations between man and woman takes place.
Those who demand legal equalization of a natural marriage with a homosexual one are consciously destroying the bases of social moral, distorting the original concept of the naturalness of marital relations documented in the Convention on Human Rights, and thus create a foundation for the total demoralization of the society, which is equal to a fatal apocalypse.
Therefore, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church addresses the representatives of all the branches of power in Ukraine calling to decisively resist the attempts of PACE to impose on the governments of European countries the adoption of the legislative acts promoting the distribution of such immoral phenomena as abortions and same-sex-marriages."
The UOC in the composition of the All-Ukraine Council of Churches and Religious Organizations has also sent its statements to the president of Ukraine, the prime minister, chairmen of the Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada), and other statesmen in order not to allow the introduction into the legislation of Ukraine morally destructive provisions undermining Christian concepts of man, family, and society.
However, it is not the first time that documents of similar content are issued. On May 15, 2007, the All-Ukraine Council of Churches and Religious Organizations published its declaration "On the negative attitude towards the phenomenon of homosexuality and the attempts to legalize so-called same-sex marriages (registration of the same-sex partnerships).”