UOC opposes criminal liability for pro-family actions

Head of the Mission for Family Affairs of the UOC Synodal Department, Metropolitan Panteleimon (Povorozniuk) of Rovenki and Sverdlovka. Photo: family.church.ua

Met. Panteleimon commented on the bill amending the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding crimes motivated by gender intolerance.

On May 5, 2020, the head of the Mission for Family Affairs of the UOC Synodal Department, Metropolitan Panteleimon (Povorozniuk) of Rovenki and Sverdlovka commented on the bill amending the Criminal Code of Ukraine on crimes motivated by gender intolerance on the Mission’s website.

The hierarch of the UOC explained that this bill is of concern to the Church as it will make it possible to interpret any action in defense of family values or sermons on the sin of homosexuality as a call to intolerance.

Vladyka Panteleimon reminded that the sin of sodomy deeply hurts the people who commit it, they suffer, and therefore the Church cannot leave such people without pastoral care and opposes anyone to offend them.

“The Church always upholds the dignity of man, first of all, as the Image of God, even if this image is overshadowed by sins,” the bishop emphasized.

However, it is not clear why the concepts of gender and sexual orientation in special status should be introduced into the Criminal Code, he added. The hierarch also asked why it is necessary to protect the rights of homosexuals in a special way, and not of other vulnerable segments of society – the disabled and refugees, for example.

The head of the Mission for Family Affairs of the UOC Synodal Department also emphasized that the proposed bill violates the principle of freedom of speech and forbids Christians to call sin a sin.

“The moment the Church is silent and stops exposing sin, She will no longer be the Church. In the end, the Constitution, as you know, stipulates the principle of freedom of religious belief and it is a very dangerous practice to protect the rights of some citizens at the expense of other citizens’ rights guaranteed by the Constitution,” the UOC hierarch emphasized.

Metropolitan Panteleimon spoke of the teachings of the Church about the man and gender issues. He recalled how the Book of Genesis describes the beingness of Adam and the creation of Eve and also explained why homosexual relationships do not reveal a person and do not allow him to fully realize the ability to love.

Bishop Panteleimon also recalled the destructive consequences of homosexuality – failures in the sexual identification of children in such families, psychological problems and mental illnesses, and a craving for suicide.

"In conclusion, I would like to recall the words of St. John Chrysostom: "The Universe consists of states. States are made up of cities, cities – of families, and families – of a man and a woman. If you want to destroy the Universe, quarrel the man and the woman." What awaits us all if people don’t know who they are — a man or a woman? Therefore, we declare: the Church does not call for discrimination against anyone, but we must have the right to call sin a sin because it is our duty to God, as well as to our children.”

Earlier, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations and 58 Ukrainian deputies opposed the draft law on amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding crimes motivated by gender intolerance.

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