On December 23 it became known that the law on “free cohabitation” of sodomites had been adopted by majority vote at the plenary meeting of the Greek Parliament. The European Court of Human Rights pressured them to bring Greek legislation into conformity with European law.
Athanasius, please, tell us how the legalization of same-sex “unions” has become possible in such a country as Orthodox Greece where there is no separation of the Church and state?!
It was quite natural to expect it, though until the last day we hoped that would not happen. The fact is that for many years in Greece the politicians, striving for power, promised to do certain things, but, upon coming to power, they did the opposite. Of those who voted in favor of this law at the Parliament only the liberal To Potami party had “protection of the rights of sexual minorities” officially as part of its program. And they gained only four percent of the votes— they could hardly make it into Parliament. Only individual functionaries from the ruling Syriza party spoke for special rights of sexual minorities, while the party itself did not announce its stand on this issue for a long time. And the others promised nothing of the kind to their electorate. So we cannot say that it was the voice of majority of the Greek people.
This is like the referendum on euro credits which was held earlier this year: the people said “no”, while the politicians said “yes”; a week passed and they openly went against the people.
According to Metropolitan Ambrose of Kalavryta, on the Greek open government website where this law was being discussed and where over 5000 comments were left, around seventy percent of the commentators were against that bill. And we know that mainly liberals, people who are negative about the Church, are the most active on the internet—this can be seen on Russian internet forums as well.
Two thirds of the parliamentarians support the new law, while two thirds of the people oppose it. Such is the proportion. Apart from the legalization of these “unions”, there is an intentional assault on families with many children in Greece. Many kinds of benefits have already been cut several times.
In the evening of December 22 (that is, right after the voting) a news report appeared that the creditors demanded to cut 300 different kinds of benefits for families with many children and the disabled.
It was supposed that it would be done by December 31, but the government did not have time and thus it was granted a deferral until January 15, 2016.
It is obviously a paired action: the assault on families with many children and the legalization of sodomy. Deputy Christos Karayiannidis from the ruling Syriza party, in response to a letter by parents of many children who opposed the legalization of same-sex “unions”, said cynically: “I couldn’t care less about these large families. I am sick and tired of them.”
It is hard to believe this anyway. When early in the year it was reported that the minister of justice announced the possibility of legalizing same-sex “unions” in Greece, it was soon after the adoption of the so-called Anti-Racism Law—this sounded like sheer nonsense.
The legalization is being implemented consistently and step by step. One politician who spoke out at Parliament against passing the law compared it with the procedure of cutting salami: little by little and into thin slices.
It is easier to choke a man (or a country), if you only slowly tighten the rope around his neck, so that he does not at first notice the stranglehold. It is the same with these laws. First they pass a law allowing free cohabitation for heterosexual couples. Then they adopt a law legalizing “civil partnerships” for sodomites. At the same time they keep promising that adoption of children by such “couples” will not be considered. But a year or two later they will return to this question. One Syriza member during the Parliament hearings said that, “after a while we will probably consider the question of adoption of children.”
Surely they will. No doubt about it.
Yes. But if they passed a law on “same-sex unions” with the possibility of adopting children by them, there would be a stern response from the public and from some politicians.
Do you really think that a reaction from the public can change something? The Church is opposing, the people are opposing, but Europe is supporting—so the law is passed.
Some members of the New Democracy (a liberal conservative party) and the Independent Greeks party voted for the law explaining it by the fact that the act has no “adoption clause”. This was their sole argument. They said: “There is no adoption, so we vote in favor of it so as to meet the requirements of Europe. But we will never support adoption of children by sexual minorities, all the more so as another law imposes a penalty for corruption of minors… And this law is good”. If this law had an adoption clause, it would be more difficult to pass it now.
In Greece you cannot act rapidly, so they act step by step. The same is with the Anti-Racism Law. The legislative foundation is prepared, but the law is still not applied.
When the hearings on the “Same-sex Unions Law” were being prepared, several hierarchs spoke very sharply, extremely sharply—so sharply that when their words were translated into Russian by our website (as well as by yours, as I noticed), the translators toned them down. Deputy of the Golden Dawn Party Yannis Lagos, speaking at the Parliament, absolutely justly said (he welcomes the stand of the Church): “If I repeat what Metropolitan Ambrose has said, then you will immediately file a suit against me and imprison me. And you will not imprison the metropolitan, fearing and knowing that the people will not understand prosecution of the seventy-seven-year-old hierarch”. And he is right.
Those who have no official status and are not under special protection, are already being prosecuted by the Anti-Racism Law.
I assure you, the metropolitans will have their turn.
The metropolitans will be the next stage. But the process will be going slowly; they try not to speed it up, to act step by step. They are not in a hurry. There is no hurry for them.
Gradually, little by little, they are destroying the institution of family. And it is the same with the abolition of the special status of the Church in Greece.
First they abolished the Morning Prayer in Greek schools. Now they want to ban icons in hospitals and courts. And they are going to abolish “religious studies”: to transform this Orthodox oriented subject into something like “the history of world religions”. This is a whole consistent program—and it works.
These people are acting according to a very similar scenario. Note how they impose sanctions against Russia. Not all at once, but step by step. Through a combination of means they are trying gradually to tighten the stranglehold. And they are gradually destroying Greece in the same way.
Our nations are similar. It is difficult to defeat us in open battle, but more can be achieved by means of baseness, treachery and destabilization of the situation from inside.
Has the Church somehow demonstrated its attitude towards this law?
Many bishops have spoken up against the law and none of them have supported it, but, nevertheless, there has not been a reaction from the whole Church. As one deputy said: “Bells are tolling mournfully in one diocese. But this should be happening in all churches of all dioceses.”
What is the spiritual meaning of adopting this law in a country on whose territory there is Holy Mount Athos? We saw many other European countries going this way, and it was terrifying as we followed it. But Greece is a particular case. This news provokes horror. Shock and terror. The Rubicon has been crossed.
The people who struggled against this law feel the same. They say it is a black day for the history of Greece, when unlawfulness has become a law. The people are scandalized.
The deputies who opposed the law struggled to the bitter end, but it turned out that they made up only one third of the Parliament!
It is a peculiarity of our time that the opinion of the people is not taken into consideration, and it is not clear what can be done. The majority of population of Montenegro (various sources give different percentage, but it is certainly more than fifty percent) are against joining NATO, but the country is going to join NATO all the same. It is a similar situation in other countries. The majority of the people are opposed to the legalization of sodomy, but sodomy is being legitimatized.
By the way, it was the same in Georgia where the people and the Church were against the Anti-Discrimination Law, but it was adopted; and in the Ukraine where the people and the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church were against the anti-discrimination amendment (which gives equal rights to LGBT workers) to the Labor Code, but it was passed all the same.
This indicates that the system is controlled. As far as Greece is concerned, they are walking a cunning path. Any party that says, “We are for legalization of same-sex unions, we are for adoption of children by these couples” will gain its four percent—and this is the real number of Greek liberals. Meanwhile other parties come to power with beautiful mottos that they will allegedly struggle for the liberation of Greece from the yoke of the creditors and will allegedly build good relations with the Church. After winning the general elections the new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hastened to meet with the Archbishop of Athens and asked him to pray for success of the government. He declared that the Church was very important, that it was our ally. But when Europe required what it needed, Tsipras began to act differently.
This is a black day. An important stage has passed, and it will be followed by an aggravation of the situation, up to persecutions of those who oppose sodomy. And the legislative basis has been prepared in advance. If the Anti-Racism Law is applied to the full, then all the bishops who spoke up against the gay unions may instantly find themselves in the dock.
We see in the example of Greece that the decisive factor is the following: who is in power in a country today and what his religion is. Here in Russia such laws cannot be on the agenda at the moment, as opposed to other Orthodox countries that decided to join the European Union and the Western world. There the state no longer protects the Church but wages war on it. And the events that are taking place in Greece illustrate this very clearly.
The ruling party is consistently destroying all the institutions that are traditional for Greece.
“Ye shall know them by their fruits”: Though we hear beautiful words about the huge role of the Church, which formed the identity of the Greek nation, and so on, their actions are anti-Church by nature.
The same is being done in the sphere of economy: they persuade us by saying that the reforms will only be for the good of the country, but in reality the debt has dramatically increased. And even in the annual report of the International Monetary Fund it is said that there is currently no ray of hope for Greece: its debt will only go higher, because loans are being made at a very high interest rate.
St. Paisios the Athonite predicted all these things, saying, “Do not be afraid. God will not permit the evil to be done. Many events will occur and it will be impossible to explain them by means of formal logic. The people will be filled with disgust for their politicians. Just as a balloon is inflated slowly but bursts suddenly, all of them will burst too!” This is precisely what is happening now. The balloon is being blown up.
By the way, it is significant that there are a growing number of people who consider that votes are counted dishonestly. It is real nonsense for Greec—earlier you could not meet a single person who believed that there were manipulations with the votes. But today there are more and more such people.
Yes… We will hardly be able to end our conversation on a positive note.
The question is, how many such people will there be. And it is good to remember here the story of Sodom and the number of its righteous residents for the sake of whom the Lord would have agreed to preserve the town.
I would not be so pessimistic at the moment, because there are indeed not many homosexuals in Greece, just as in Russia. The situation is still not as dramatic as, say, in the Netherlands. Irrespective of law, they cannot manifest their feelings freely: When before the parliamentary voting they started doing these things in front of the Athens Metropolis building, ordinary passengers at once…
Yes, they gave them a beating.
They immediately explained to them that they were wrong.
But, again, it is a question of time. For instance, take France, where the institution of family was always strong and greatly respected… Who could have imagined twenty years ago that such things as “parent number one” and “parent number two” would appear there? And take the USA: I am convinced that very many conservative people still live in Texas, but their children will surely be corrupted because the authorities thus decided. And in schools they will be taught not the law of God, but that they can choose their gender…
This process is going on all over the world. This expansion is happening even in Russia. The liberals claim that, “they (LGBT-community) are the same human beings with the same rights. Restricting their liberties is a slide back to the Middle Ages.” And the media are permanently plaguing the ordinary people with these things.
Exactly! They will force their way. But they will not achieve their goal until the government that resists them is changed. But as soon as the authorities—I mean the President—are changed, that will be the end of us, the situation (with legalization of perversion) will be like everywhere: in Greece or the Ukraine.
Is Greece the first Orthodox state where these “unions” are legalized?
No, the first was Bulgaria where the process of partial legalization of sodomy started back in 1996. In Cyprus it began in 2008.
These processes have bee launched in Serbia as well as in Georgia, Moldova, Romania and the Ukraine… It can probably be said that Russia is the last world power whose politicians and President are openly speaking up against the legal recognition of same-sex couples.
It is so at present. But there is still hope that sooner or later a new resistance will appear. After all, the ordinary people are against these things. For example, the population of Slovenia overwhelmingly voted against same-sex marriages in a referendum earlier this year…