Moscow, May 30, 2011
The Russian Orthodox Church is grateful to the Moscow city authorities and law enforcers for preventing a gay parade attempted in the city last Saturday.
Responding to questions from Interfax-Religion on Monday, head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said the authorities "quite politely prevented an instance of propaganda of homosexuality which could have been witnessed by children and teenagers who crowded the two venues of the action."
He expressed hope that in the future the authorities of Russia and Moscow in similar cases "will listen to the voice of their own people, the majority of whom do not accept the propaganda of homosexuality, instead of foreign pressure that was exerted before the action and continues now."
The clergyman said that on the basis "of an absolutely clear moral choice of the people" Russia can restrict any propaganda actions. "I am deeply convinced of that. International organizations and especially the governments of countries with whom we have different histories and different social systems should realize that," Father Vsevolod said.
"One should not respond to illegal actions by other illegal actions," he added.
"Orthodox Christians had the right to peaceful protest and as far as I know the protest was mainly peaceful. People expressed their attitude toward the developments, said that homosexuality is a sin and that society must stop its propaganda. I am sure that any Orthodox Christian thinks so. The fact that some of them expressed their opinion out loud is right and natural," he said.
He found the beatings on Saturday regrettable.
Moreover, he admitted that he had never heard of the Orthodox Brotherhood blamed for the beatings. "It is the first time that I have heard about such an organization. I wonder whether it was set up for provocative purposes," Father Vsevolod assumed.
Over 60 people were detained in Moscow on Saturday during an attempted gay parade and a protest against it.