Schaerbeek, Belgium, June 30, 2021
The European Parliament’s recently-adopted Matić Report on sexual and reproductive rights only serves to amplify divisions in Europe today with its promotion of “shocking ideologies,” believes the Representation of the Romanian Orthodox Church to European Institutions.
The issues dealt with in the report should, according to the founding treaty of the European Union, be regulated exclusively by each member state, the Church office recalls.
“In stark contrast to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, which clearly stipulates that areas such as health and education fall exclusively within the competence of the Member States, the Matić Report seeks to create the impression of a global consensus on topics which, in reality, remain extremely sensitive within the family of EU Member States,” reads the Romanian Church Representation’s statement.
The Church pinpoints several controversial points dealt with in the report, which was adopted on Thursday, June 24, by a vote of 378-255 (with 42 abstentions):
the promotion of abortion
the criticism of the right of health professionals to invoke conscientious objection
the promotion of sex education in schools for all children (the Romanian Church has recently spoken out against compulsory sex education within Romania)
the promotion of gender ideology
While the European Parliament has repeatedly addressed such topics, “This report is the first of its kind in almost 10 years to give such a degree of political importance to sexual and reproductive health and rights at the EU level,” writes the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
And concluding its statement, the Church regretfully notes the worrying trend of replacing “a genuine policy of promoting the fundamental rights of citizens—such as the right to life, freedom of conscience or parental rights—with shocking ideologies that ignore real needs and problems, while amplifying the rifts between people, cultures and states in today's Europe.”
In contrast, Caroline Hickson, Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network, commented: “We now look to the Member States and the European Commission to take the report’s recommendations forward and deliver on sexual and reproductive safety, care and freedom for all. We want to see serious advances on access to sexual and reproductive care as part of a society free from sexism and discrimination.”
The Representation of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the European Institutions is a member of the Committee of Representatives of the Orthodox Churches to the EU (CROCEU). His Eminence Metropolitan Nifon of Târgoviște serves as its President, and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of Western Europe as Vice-President.
The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church issued a statement earlier this month referring to gender ideologies as a demonic attack against man’s union with God. The Georgian Orthodox Church issued a statement yesterday opposing the holding of LGBT events in Tbilisi.