Kiev, October 23, 2020
Pope Francis’ recent statement in support of gay civil unions contains a number of inconsistences and contradictions to Christian teaching, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said yesterday.
In a new documentary, “Francesco,” released on Wednesday, Pope Francis said: “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be rejected or be made miserable over it.”
However, “There are already a number of contradictions in this one phrase,” Met. Anthony said in comments to the Ukrainian outlet Orthodox Life.
“Of course, we are all children of God—both the righteous and sinners, and all will be judged by the Lord. But what does ‘everyone has the right to a family’ mean? The family is God’s gift, given to our first parents at the same time as the commandment: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it (Gen. 1:28),” the hierarch explained.
According to Christian teaching, the foundation of the family is the marriage of one man and one woman, so “What kind of family is the Pope talking about?” Met. Anthony asks. Same-sex marriage cannot be accepted by the Church, despite any simple arguments about how people should be happy.
“We know that true happiness can only be achieved in union with the Lord, and not in sinful union that satisfies lust,” he emphasized.
And what does creating a law on “civil unions” have to do with the Church anyways, the Ukrainian Chancellor asks. “There are many questions, and they’re all just hanging out there.”
Met. Anthony also comments on a scene in the documentary where Pope Francis talks with a same-sex couple and advises them to leave aside their concerns and go to church “despite anyone’s indignation.”
“There are many questions here too,” he said. “Should children be taken to church? Of course. But how can a visit to church influence children who see their ‘parents’ publicly living in sin every day, especially since this sin is no longer called a sin…?”
People may say the Pope was just showing charity, but, “In fact, Christian charity means bringing the sinner to repentance, not indulging his sins. Compassion does not mean justification. There is an ancient principle: ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin.’ Do we see that here? Alas, no,” Met. Anthony commented.
His Eminence concludes with a strong warning:
Some are perplexed as to how we can seriously discuss the Pope’s statements, when we now have many divorces, abortions, and other negative factors. I think this is a kind of Pharisaism. After all, the Church condemns divorce and abortion in the same way. The task of the Church is to bear witness to the Truth in any place, both here and around the world. And if we ignore the substitution of Christian values for the essentially God-fighting cult of tolerance, this attack will soon come to us.