Statement by Communication Service of Moscow Patriarchate Department for
External Church Relations on recent changes in family laws in France and
March 5, 2013
Same-sex unions have continued to be legalized in Europe. Recently,
respective bills have been approved by the lower chambers of the French
and British parliaments. It was done not only in defiance of the opinion
of a part of deputies but also against the background of mass protest
manifestations of citizens.
These legislative steps show that a revolution is taking place in the
European societies' understanding of marriage as such. The legal
recognition of homosexual unions and their equating to marriage is a
revolution is the sphere of legislative norms regulating family
relations including the norms concerning taxation, education,
healthcare, upbringing of children, etc.
The legalization of same-sex unions is another step towards an attempt
to give an absolutely new meaning to marriage and the family directly
opposite to the Christian one. Basically, this process involves
connivance at individualism and hedonism on the scale of society and
state and ultimately on the scale of the whole humanity.
In the countries which have embarked on the path of a radical revision
of traditional family ethics, this process has resulted in a demographic
crisis which is growing from year to year. The revision of fundamental
norms of family law on which the human community has been built for
centuries and which are preserved as before in the moral code of major
world religions is a path leading to the self-liquidation of whole nations.
The legislative norm allowing homosexual unions to adopt and raise
children appear especially dangerous. Evidently, these children will
develop a view of parents, family and moral and social values completely
different from the traditional ones. All this will contribute to further
obliteration of differences between the sexes and subsequently to
forcing out from public conscience the image of woman as mother, wife
and guardian of the household. The final rejection of the idea that man
and woman have special vocations and complement each other in family
life threatens with destructive consequences for both the individual and
The Russian Orthodox Church preserves and defends the primary Christian
understanding of marriage and family, sanctifies marital relations in
the church Sacrament and asserts the importance of marriage for the
wellbeing and development of society as a whole.
Our Church expresses her solidarity with Christians, adherents to other
religions and those proponents of non-religious worldviews who have
preserved the traditional understanding of marriage as union of man and
woman and come out against the attempts to use a radical legal reform to
impose on the whole society a different understanding of marriage
unprecedented in human history.
Aware of the danger of these processes, we believe it important to
develop dialogue with all the public forces, both religious and
non-religious, who support the traditional ideas of family values. This
criterion is one of the most important ones in the Russian Orthodox
Church's choice of partners in inter-Christian and interreligious dialogues.
*Source: **DECR Communication Service*
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