Bishop Victor: Orthodox people will never agree to same-sex civil unions
The UOC hierarch commented on the recent adoption of the law on lifelong same-sex partnership in Montenegro, where about 75% of the population is considered Orthodox.
The decision of the Montenegrin authorities to legalize a lifelong same-sex civil union is alien to the Orthodox people of this country, said the hierarch of the UOC, Head of the Representation of the UOC to European International Organizations, Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka.
“The decision taken on July 1, 2020, by the Assembly of Montenegro to legalize a lifelong same-sex civil union is alien to the Orthodox people of this country,” the hierarch said in a commentary to the UOJ. “Moreover, this decision is legalized in a state where about 75% of the population consider themselves Orthodox. For centuries, the Orthodox people have been living in Montenegro, for whom the Commandments of Christ are a living guide to life.”
Vladyka noted that in recent years he has repeatedly had to visit Montenegro – “in this beautiful country”, take part in thousands of religious processions, communicate with its Orthodox residents and see firsthand how deep and strong their faith is.
He emphasized that these are “exclusively peaceful processions that are not accompanied by pogroms and violence, as we see now in some other countries. In this peaceful way, with fervent prayer, the inhabitants of Montenegro have been expressing support for the Serbian Orthodox Church in the country and their Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolitan Amfilohije for more than half a year.”
“Nowadays, the topic of same-sex union has become a symbol of neglect of the Law of God and opposition to God,” he added. “And the people who advocate for the rights of LGBT people themselves deliberately become the camp of the God-fighters, because this is not just a violation of God's commandment about marriage. The book of Leviticus (18: 22) says: "Do not go to bed with a man as with a woman: this is an abomination." This word 'abomination' in the Holy Scriptures means a grave sin before God.”
Bishop Victor recalled the recent words of Metropolitan Amfilohije: “The sanctity of marriage is the center of the eternal meaning of everything related to human beings and their existence. Those who deny this eternal meaning deny the God in Whom they believe, accepting lawlessness and inhumanity as law and humanity. Indeed, “I have the right to do anything, but not everything is beneficial" (1 Cor. 6:12).
“We reaffirm that the Church should not interfere in politics. But the Church cannot be silent when the law of God is openly violated, for if the Church is silent, then She will cease to be a spiritual and moral benchmark in the life of societies, countries and peoples. The Church is beyond all borders, it carries an extraterrestrial and timeless mission. Therefore, today we all must pray fervently for each other, for all Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, Montenegro and the whole world. To pray that the Lord God will give us all the strength not to depart from His Commandments and to remain faithful to Christ despite the systematic policy of apostasy, which today is for some reason called ‘European’ values,” the UOC hierarch concluded.
As reported by the UOJ, on July 1, 2020, the Montenegrin parliament passed a law on the lifelong same-sex civil union. The country's Prime Minister, Duško Marković, called the decision “a big step in the right direction”.