Madrid, February 17, 2023
Representatives of three Orthodox jurisdictions and other religious figures came together to sign a declaration on protecting the dignity of human life in Madrid on Wednesday.
The joint declaration will be presented to the legislative, executive, and judicial authorities in Spain, the Basilica News Agency reports.
The document was signed by Bishop Timotei of Spain and Portugal of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Fr. Andrey Kordochkin of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Metropolitan Vissarion of Spain and Portugal of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The petition states that the signatories “observe with increasing concern how, for decades, laws have been promoted and adopted in our country in which, in some cases, human life is seriously unprotected, legislating not only against the principles of the Creator, but also against the most essential of human rights: the right to life.
Abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy has been legal in Spain since 2010. On Thursday, jstu a day after the religious petition was signed, the Spanish Parliament approved legislation allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to get an abortion without parental consent.
“Life is a gift from God to all of creation and humanity,” and isn’t dependent upon the circumstances of life, but is an “intrinsic quality” and must always be respected, the petition reads. Therefore, life “must be protected from beginning to end.”
This respect for life is a sign of the progress and prosperity of the society, “not a step backwards or contrary to freedom.”
Even in difficult cases, “deep ethical and moral dilemmas can’t be generically resolved by sacrificing one of the fundamental rights affected (in this case, the right to life) in favor of the other.”
Therefore, “we ask our believers, society in general, and the political community to reflect once more and to undertake to cooperate and work together so that every human life is protected and guarded as a gift from God, endowed with the highest dignity.”
The petition was also signed by representatives of the Islamic Commission of Spain, the Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities in Spain, the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church, and the Catholic Church.