Chișinău, Moldova, October 8, 2021
The Moldovan Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate issued a statement yesterday on the ratification by the Moldovan Parliament of the “Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,” commonly known as the Istanbul Convention, noting that while it has praiseworthy elements, it also unfortunately departs from the Biblical conception of mankind, and thus the Church cannot support it.
The statement is addressed to the President and members of Parliament and government and signed by His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of Chișinău.
It begins noting that the Church has objected to the ratification of the Convention several times. At first glance, it seems the Convention is filled with good intentions. After all, “It is beyond doubt that violence against anyone is reprehensible,” Met. Vladimir writes.
However, “A series of very plastic formulations and legal nuances camouflaged in the nominated Convention have the ability to open the door to an avalanche of serious consequences for our society,” the statement continues.
According to Met. Vladimir, one of the most controversial aspects of the Convention is its definition of “gender” as “socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes, which a given society considers appropriate for women and men.”
“Therefore, this text denies the objective realities of the existence of man and woman,” the Moldovan Church statement responds, which is in direct contradiction with the Biblically grounded truth about mankind.
The Moldovan Church also rejects the Convention’s aim to eradicate various customs and traditions that are interpreted as being “based on the inferiority of women or on stereotypical roles for women and men.” Such cultural cancelation is a very dangerous idea, Met. Vladimir writes, and the Convention doesn’t explain how such decisions will be made and implemented.
Further, European society is the beneficiary of a great Christian spiritual treasure that “cannot be so recklessly neglected.”
The Moldovan Church is also concerned about attacks on religious freedom. The Convention dictates that religious beliefs and cultural customs must not be taken into account in the course of criminal proceedings, but at the same offers only a very vague understanding of psychological violence. “For example, marriage between a man and a woman could be considered an obsolete tradition,” the Church statement warns.
By imposing mistaken ideas of gender and other teachings at “all levels of education,” the Convention also infringes upon the right of parents to educate their children, continues Met. Vladimir.
The Convention has proven controversial in other nations as well, seen as a Trojan Horse to introduce a “third sex” and “gay marriage.” The Constitutional Court of Bulgaria even declared the Convention unconstitutional in 2018, the statement emphasizes.
The statement concludes by reemphasizing that the Moldovan Church has always stood against violence of all forms. Christian virtues and love can and must contribute to the prevention of violence, but not to the spread of gender ideology.
“We are called each and every one of us to persevere for our common spiritual and moral good,” Met. Vladimir calls.