Athonite abbots and Sacred Community: Gay marriage bill threatens all of mankind and creation

Mt. Athos, February 9, 2024

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Another statement has come from the Holy Mountain concerning the controversy over the Greek government’s plans to legalize gay marriage and adoption by gay couples.

In December, the Sacred Community of Mt. Athos, which consists of one representative of each of the 20 ruling monasteries, issued a statement, condemning the state’s plans.

And today, an emergency session of the Double Assembly was held, uniting the 20 abbots with the Sacred Community, to address the same issue, reports Romfea.

While expressing their love for everybody, the Athonites also condemn the state’s plans as destructive for all of mankind. “Not only the Gospel and Greek society are affected. All of creation is being deconstructed,” the Double Assembly writes.

Read the full statement below:

On the occasion of the submission of the bill “Equality in Civil Marriage. Amendment of the Civil Code and Other Provisions” for voting by the Greek Parliament, the 40 Abbots and Representatives of the Holy Monasteries of Mount Athos convened in Karyes today, 2/8/2024, due to the great and particular seriousness of the subject, decided to address this announcement to every well-intentioned person and to stand in solidarity with the Church’s anxiety and struggle to protect the core of human life.

The legislation, as the bill proposes, while wanting to ensure the principle of equality through the institution of “marriage” between persons of the same sex and even protection from discrimination, violates fundamental principles of human existence and kills the possibility of life and the natural development of the child.

Not only the human family is dissolved, but the whole of human existence.

How does life work? Each of us comes from a mother and a father, according to Christ’s response: Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female? (Mt. 19:4).

The institution of “marriage” between persons of the same sex is a reversal of Christian marriage and the institution of the family and has been rejected by the entire ecclesiastical tradition and is treated with repentance, which is a change of life.

Also, the embryo is carried for nine months and is born. The newborn human is the most vulnerable newborn of all of creation. It can’t do anything.

If his mother doesn’t care for him, doesn’t nurse him, he dies... God gives the responsibility to the parents to cooperate in the baby’s formation and thus become co-creators with God.

If the newborn turns its gaze towards his mother wanting to be nursed, and someone else is in her place, it confuses the information – it gets distorted, and is dishonored.

The duty of respect to a new creature requires sacrifice for it to be able to develop normally, to enjoy its life. There is no other way for human union and development.

After nine months, he is born into a broader womb, which is the family environment, and another creation of the human, the child, begins within the family.

He knows his mother as the woman who nurses him and nourishes him with her milk and takes care of him.

He knows his father as the man who loves him and takes care of him in his own way. He gets spiritual and physical strength from the mutual respect of his father and mother in order to move on to the second phase which passes into childhood, enters adolescence, moves freely within society and accepts the guidance of his culture and place.

God creates man to live, not to die; not to die in the womb of his mother, nor in the womb of childhood, nor in the womb of history.

He participates in the miracle of life, to live and ascend to eternal life.

And this, by the grace of the Spirit, is what the Church does, through which “the whole is renewed and divinized.”

And this constitutes the final womb, which shapes the man and prepares him to be born into the realm of the new polity, into the “tabernacles” of the beloved and the desired freedom of the future age.

This is the purpose and reason for which God created the world and man.

Those who were liberated and born beyond the womb of history, that is, in the grace of eternal life, exist, pray, and hold us all in life, and constitute the North Star to which humanity is directed.

The attempted hubris, in the original sense of the word, constitutes a denial of human existence, a destruction of the foundations of the edifice of humanity.

Not only the Gospel and Greek society are affected. All of creation is being deconstructed.

Whether you’re a believer or an unbeliever, you’ll be born in the same way. When you alter these, you decide on the slow but certain death of humanity.

When a man and woman marry in the Church, they receive the blessing of the Church and wishes for many children and a participation in creation.

The true character of marriage is vividly revealed with the presence of Christ at the wedding in Cana because this is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church, according to the Apostle Paul.

This “marriage” being promoted today leads to a dead end.

Creatures are being prepared wounded, disabled. Respect human nature.

What was born from its mother’s womb, regardless of race, language, and faith, needs to be nursed by its mother.

These thoughts are not the product of imagination but are based on Scripture and the Apostles, on Tradition and the decisions of the Fathers, who established terms for the Orthodox faith and the sacred canons that define the boundaries within which all its members must move.

In particular, the Apostle Paul is clear when he emphatically states: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10).

At the same time, the Church continues its mission, shepherds, and heals, so that all the faithful may live in a community with Christ and their brothers, distinguished by selfless love and brotherhood.

God loves us all, the righteous and the unrighteous, saints and sinners. The Church does the same, excluding no one, as is evident throughout the history of ecclesiastical life and human weaknesses.

Love reigns. It is a shame for those who make these bills and consider this development natural.

We encourage and praise those who prefer the voice of conscience over any party discipline and are companions in their struggle.

However, there is the health of the life of the human body that rejects all these elements that attempt to alter the true existence of man.

There is One Who directs everything—He Who made the world and man to live in eternity and to exist. He exists and protects us, appearing as weak and nonexistent.

All those who want to alter life will crash into Him.

Perhaps they don’t realize that all this haste and insistence on passing the bill reveals weakness and at the expense of the people they supposedly want to protect.

It is only out of respect for these people that we express and emphatically emphasize the principles of life.

It is a great crime. They violate human nature because, in essence, they stop natural development and unknowingly destroy man.

But there is One Who created everything out of love and wisdom and bypasses our weaknesses and leads everything to a good end.

All Representatives and Abbots of the 20 Holy and Venerable Monasteries of Mount Athos in the emergency Double Assembly.

Both the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church and the expanded Council of Bishops have issued condemnatory statements. State authorities have expressed their intention to move ahead with their plans, despite the voice of the Church.

Earlier this month, 140 Greek Orthodox associations also united in their opposition to the relevant bill.

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