Mount Athos unequivocally opposes the proposed legislation concerning same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
This stance was articulated in a communiqué released following the conclusion of an extraordinary double Holy Synaxis, convened in the presence of the 40 Abbots and representatives of the Holy Monasteries of Mount Athos, specifically convened to address this issue.
As it is emphatically stressed, this bill fundamentally violates the core principles of human existence, thereby eroding not only the structure of the human family but the very essence of human life itself.
The Abbots and Representatives of the Monasteries denounce the announcement as an attempted “hubris,” which “represents a denial of humanity’s essence and a profound erosion of the very foundation upon which human civilization stands.”
It adds: “It is not only the gospel and Greek society that are affected. The universe is deconstructing. Whether one is a believer or not, we are all born the same way. When fundamental aspects are altered, it essentially leads to the gradual yet assured death of humanity.”
The communiqué concludes: “It’s a big crime. They pervert human nature, essentially halting its natural progression and inadvertently undermining human existence. Yet, there is the the Lord, the creator who created all with love and wisdom, transcending our weaknesses and guiding all towards a good ending.”
Read the full communiqué below:
In response to the submission for voting of the bill named “Equality in Civil Marriage – Amendment of the Civil Code and Other Provisions” by the Greek Parliament, the 40 Abbots and Representatives of the Holy Monasteries of Mount Athos convened in Karyes on February 8, 2024. Recognizing the profound gravity of the issue at hand, they have chosen to issue this communiqué, extending their message to all those with good intentions. Their aim is to stand in solidarity with the Church’s tireless efforts to safeguard the essence of human life.
The proposed legislation outlined in the draft law aims to uphold the principle of equality and eliminate discrimination by extending the right of “marriage” to same-sex couples. However, it fundamentally contravenes essential principles of human existence and undermines the potential for the natural creation and healthy development of a child. It’s not just the human family that faces dissolution; rather, it’s the very essence of humanity that is at stake.
How the life of a human person arises? Each of us comes from a mother and a father, according to Christ’s response: “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’?” (Matthew 9:4)
The institution of “marriage” between same-sex couples represents a society that is drifting away from the traditional Christian concept of marriage and family, contrary to the longstanding ecclesiastical tradition. It is viewed with a sense of repentance, signaling a shift in societal values and lifestyles. Additionally, a fetus is in a woman’s womb for nine months before being born. A newborn is the weakest being of creation. There’s nothing a newborn can do. If a mother neglected to take care of her newborn and breastfeed it, the infant would die.
God gives the responsibility to the parents to participate in its unbringing and thus become co-creators of God. If the newborn gazes at the mother, seeking nourishment, but someone else takes her place, this would lead to confusion, distortion, and ultimately, a dishonoring of the natural bond. The responsibility to nurture a new creature demands sacrifices to ensure its proper development and enjoyment of life. There is no alternative method to unite and foster the development of a human being.
After nine months of gestation, a baby emerges into the broader womb, the family environment, initiating another phase of creation—the upbringing of a child within a family. The infant knows its mother as the woman who breastfeeds it with her milk and cares for it. It knows the father as the man who loves it and takes care of it in his own way.
The infant draws both spiritual and physical strength from the mutual respect between father and mother, enabling them to navigate through the successive phases of childhood, adolescence, and eventual integration into society. During this journey, they receive education and absorb the cultural influences of the place they live at. God created humans to live, not to die; their destiny was neither to die in their mother’s womb, nor in the womb of childhood, nor in the womb of history.
A child takes part in the miracle of life, as it is meant to experience its wonders and journey towards eternal existence. And this, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, is done by the Church, through which “the entire creation is renewed and divinely illuminated.” And this, indeed, is the ultimate womb, shaping humans and preparing them for birth into a new realm, into the “tabernacles” of cherished and longed-for freedom in the days to come.
This is the purpose and reason why God created the world and humans. Those who have been liberated and born beyond the confines of historical womb, that is, into the grace of eternal life, exist, pray, and bind us all together in life, forming a constellation guiding humanity forward.
The attempted “hubris,” in its original essence (Tr. Note: excessive pride or arrogance), signifies a denial of human existence and a profound erosion of the very foundation upon which human civilization stands. It is not only the gospel and Greek society that are affected. The universe is deconstructing. Whether one is a believer or not, we are all born the same way. When fundamental aspects are altered, it essentially leads to the gradual yet assured death of humanity.
When a man and a woman are married within the Church, they receive the blessing of the Church along with wishes for giving birth to many children who will be raised with proper care and guidance. The true essence of marriage is vividly unveiled through Christ’s presence at the wedding in Cana, echoing the profound mystery described by the Apostle Paul as being rooted “in Christ and in the Church.” This “marriage”, promoted today, leads to a dead end.
Wounded, traumatized beings are getting ready. Please, respect the human nature. A baby that was born from a woman’s womb, regardless of her race, language and faith, needs to be breastfed by its mother.
These reflections are not a figment of our imagination; they are rooted in the scriptures, the teachings of the Apostles, our rich Tradition, and the documents of the Holy Fathers. These sacred guidelines outline the boundaries within which all adherents of the Orthodox faith are expected to abide.
In particular, the Apostle Paul is clear when he emphatically emphasizes: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6, 9-10).
At the same time, the Church continues its mission, shepherds and heals all wounds, so that all believers coexist in communion with Christ, cherishing one another with altruistic love and fraternal unity.
God loves all of us, righteous and unrighteous, saints and sinners. This is what the Church does, without excluding anyone, as this is shown throughout the history of church life and human weaknesses.
Love reigns. It is a shame for those who put these bills forward and consider such things natural. We applaud and commend those who prioritize the voice of conscience above any political allegiance. We stand ready to walk alongside them in their struggle.
However, life and the human body naturally expel any elements that seek to distort the genuine essence of human existence. There is One who governs everything. He who created the world and humanity, to live eternally and to exist, exists and protects us, though He may appear weak or non-existent.
Ultimately, all those who seek to alter life will have to deal with Him. They may not realize that their rash decisions and insistence on passing such a bill reveal a vulnerability that comes at the expense of the very people they are supposed to protect. It is solely out of respect for these individuals that we earnestly articulate and stress the principles of life.
It’s a big crime. They pervert human nature, essentially halting its natural progression and inadvertently undermining human existence. Yet, there is the Lord, the creator who created all with love and wisdom, transcending our weaknesses and guiding all towards a good ending.
Article translated by: Konstantinos Menyktas