Athens, October 6, 2017
The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church met yesterday under the presidency of His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, addressing, among other things, the sex-change bill that was recently adopted by the Greek parliament upon first reading, reports Romfea.
The bishops are closely monitoring the intense debate surrounding the bill, which is causing an upheaval in society and in the Church. To this end, it submitted its views in lieu of an open consultation to a representative of the relevant parliamentary committee.
As previously reported, in accordance with the new “On the Free Change of Sex” draft law, it is enough to simply provide a written declaration in order to receive a legal change of gender.
As an expression of the Church’s love for the people, and in view of the forthcoming debate in the House, the Synod expressed its basic positions on the issue:
1. Sex is a sacred gift to man and serves as the basis of psychosomatic complementarity in the mystery of life and love. In this sense, it is not eligible to be changed, but is a Divine gift to man to be used in his sanctification.
2. The Synod considers that the case-law of Greek courts covers, where necessary, existing problems, given that gender is neither freely chosen nor altered at will, but is determined on the basis of anatomical, physiological and biological characteristics which define the identity of a man as established by medical reports to the court. The law can't be content with just the scientifically unsubstantiated statement of the citizen, which may later be changed.
3. The proposed bill arouses emotions in society, attacks the sacred institution of the family, contradicts good morals and common sense and destroys man. Instead of diminishing confusion and mental disorders, it will increase them and give rise to a dangerous social phenomenon, especially when it creates an explosive situation in schools as well.
4. The Synod does not see behind all these efforts an interest in the afflicted and wronged fellow man, but the existence of powerful groups, resulting in the dissolution of social cohesion and the spiritual death of man.
5. The Synod makes a final appeal to the political world as a whole to lift its responsibility and mission beyond political ideals, prejudices and the invocation of uncontrolled rights, to withdraw the bill, to show similar interest in solving the most serious problems which plague our society, our nation and the people, and instead of strengthening tension, division and absurdity, to contribute to the spiritual uplifting of our citizens.
The Church surrounds all people with love and understanding indiscriminately, but always desiring their salvation must demonstrate the failure of critical decisions.
The Sacred Community of Mt. Athos has also raised its voice on the matter, in a letter to the Ministers of Justice and Education and Religious Affairs Stavros Kontonis and Konstantinos Gavroglou, as well as the members of the Greek Parliament.
The group of representatives of each of the 20 ruling monasteries on the Holy Mountain state they also feel the anxiety and concern of the Orthodox faith of the Fatherland over the developments surrounding the sex-change bill.
“With reference to the bill that is to be voted on, we wonder what is left for our future,” the Athonites’ letter reads.
The primate of the Greek Orthodox Church Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens has also spoken out against the bill, saying, “All that is game playing. The Church has its own views. Our homeland has its own traditions, it has the family, everything else is just contrivances so that we waste our time.”
For his turn, Metropolitan Kosmas of Aetolia indignantly stated in an open letter to deputies of the Greek parliament, “You are promoting a bill which denies the Triune God and Creator and casts blasphemy upon Him. This new law is unnatural, it encroaches upon the psychosomatic identity of the person, fosters depravity, and aims to thwart a person on his path to sanctification and deification.
“The bones of our saints and heroes are trembling! The great liberator of Greece the equal-to-the-apostles Kosmas of Aetolia and our other saints are weeping.”
“Today they tell us that God did not create man and woman, driving the idea from the minds of our children. Every man can easily become a woman, and every woman a man. Do you know why they are doing this?” His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Phthiotis rhetorically asked. “They want to ensure, at any cost, that homosexuals will be able to adopt children,” he answered.
The majority of Greek parliamentary parties have spoken out in favor of the scandalous bill. Only members of the Communist party and the “Golden Dawn” movement have wholly voted against the bill.