2010-01-27 11:00:00

Russian Church urges PACE not to adopt resolution in defense of gay rights

Moscow, January 27, Interfax - The head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk has called on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to refrain from adopting a resolution in defense of gay rights.

"The Russian Church does not support persecutions of homosexuals. However, views on homosexuality that go against the believers' convictions should not be imposed on them through the media and the education system," Archbishop Hilarion said in an address to PACE members published on the Russian Orthodox Church website.

Archbishop Hilarion called on the participants in the ongoing PACE session in Strasbourg "to refrain from passing any resolution on discrimination against homosexuals and revert to this issue only following its open discussion with all parties concerned."

PACE "should follow the path of building Europe without erecting new dividing lines," he said.

"Any alternative forms of relations between sexes that are being spread today cannot be granted legitimate status similar to the status of this social institution [family]. Considering a family alternatively means calling the very existence of society into question," Archbishop Hilarion said.

The Russian Orthodox Church "as well as many other European religious communities, considers homosexuality a sin," he said.