Synod of Crete speaks out against gay marriage and adoption

Heraklion, Crete, Greece, January 16, 2024

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The Greek government is moving ahead with its plans to legalize gay marriage and adoption. Stefanos Kasselakis, the openly gay banker and head of the radical left Syriza party, pledged the votes of his party members earlier this month.

A number of hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Greece have spoken out individually against the initiative, and the Holy Synod adopted a statement in December, preceded a few days by a statement from the Sacred Community of Mt. Athos.

Yesterday, the Eparchial Synod of Crete issued its own statement. Though Crete is part of Greece, the Church there falls under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and is administered separately from the Greek Holy Synod.

The statement emphasizes that the Church preaches the timeless Divine truth that marriage is between a man and a woman, and warns that gay marriage is detrimental for the children of such “marriages.”

The Synod’s statement reads in full:

The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Church of Crete, according to the Holy Gospel, the Holy Tradition, and the Sacred Canons, which define the teaching of the Orthodox Church regarding the discussed issue of the so-called “marriage” between persons of the same sex, declares the following: Marriage for the Orthodox Church is a sacred Mystery, as a psychosomatic union between a man and a woman, aimed at their sanctification and is related to the relationship of Christ and the Church.

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32).

The components of the institution of the family are directly connected with the distinct patterns of the father and the mother, as confirmed by the Divine commandment: Honor thy father and mother (Ex. 20:12), and thus, the child is in reference to them.

Any neutral determination of these relationships dissolves the natural institution of the family, bringing out novel social institutions in the name of a unilateral and minority “entitlement.”

The call for equality in marriage of heterosexual and homosexual couples and by extension the same right to adoption disregards the fundamental rights of children to be raised and formed in a family environment that does not cause confusion regarding parental identity.

The argument that the establishment of civil marriage for same-sex couples and the consequent de jure establishment of the right to adoption is imposed either by international treaties and constitutional charters, or by union law, or by the current constitution of Greece is not valid.

Therefore, it is up to each state, according to its cultural and social identity and its culture of values, to freely legislate or not on this issue.

And this is observed in the countries of the European Union, where there is no homogeneous regulation, but within the framework of multiculturalism, there are intense differences.

It is quite puzzling, however, why many supporters of same-sex “marriage” invoke Western European values and European institutions when in most other cases they denounce them.

The Orthodox Church expresses its timeless truth, which is not shaped by current conditions. It respects the person and the choices of each individual and rejects no one.

This does not mean, however, that every entitlement and every social phenomenon must be esteemed and established as an institution.

The only competent legislating authorities are the government and parliament of the Greeks. However, the Church, like every citizen, has the constitutional right to freely express their position.

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