GEO Patriarch speaks about sexual minorities in his Christmas message

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Georgia's Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II leads a midnight Christmas service at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi Photo: David Mdzinarishvili / REUTERS

In his Orthodox Christmas message issued on 7 January 2014, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II extensively spoke about homosexuality.

"It is extremely distressing that minority groups, distinguished for their negative ideas which are clearly unacceptable for Christianity, are acknowledged as representatives of humanism. They enjoy privileges, promotion, media coverage, protection from various non-governmental organizations; legislations are being amended to accommodate their needs, et cetera; whereas those who oppose these processes, especially the Church, are being discredited, whilst a family becomes the main object of attacks," Ilia II says in his Christmas message, adding that these processes are under way in Georgia too and that's why he focuses on them.

"The main expression of the crisis is the threat of equalizing relations of sexual minorities with the marriage between women and men and granting the right to same-sex couples to adopt children. Such a law perverts the entire idea of marriage and in fact, turns a child into an object that can be possessed by anyone.

"With its development and culture, Georgia belongs in the Christian Europe and therefore, the striving towards it does exist among our people. But with regard to above mentioned fundamental issues, the European Union, the European Parliament must take into account traditions and mindset of separate countries and allow them to make a free choice in order to enable local population to develop sincere desire to establish ties with the modern European culture.

"The Georgian Church welcomes the European Union's position that the legalization of same-sex marriage is not a precondition for Georgia's becoming a fully-fledged member of the European Union, as Mr. Philip Dimitrov, the Head of EU Delegation to Georgia, declared in his statement in December 2013.

"In general, we believe that such people require assistance and support to have them overcome their sinful inclinations and return to a correct way of life. This, however, does not mean that we should support the propaganda of their sin," reads the Christmas message.

On 17 May 2013, a rally organized by the highest hierarchy of Georgian Orthodox Church assaulted a small group of people who gathered in the center of Tbilisi to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

არჩევნები 2018

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