Patriarch Daniel issued an encyclical urging, “Orthodox believers must support the Church’s effort to protect the natural, traditional, and universal family.”
The Orthodox leader added that Christians must “resist some new family models that consider the natural man-woman union only one model among others.”
Every year at this time, Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany, the baptism of Christ, and bless holy water for use throughout the year. Parish priests go from house to house, blessing the homes of the faithful. This year, clergy used the occasion to ask folks to back amendments to the Romanian constitution.
The push seeks to gather half-a-million signatures in a bid for public support to confirm marriage in the Romanian constitution as exclusively heterosexual and monogamous. Over 85 percent of Romanian citizens belong to the Orthodox Church.
Romania does not recognize homosexual unions. The Romanian constitution reads “between spouses” when referring to marriage. In days past, that was clear enough for common understanding. Not so today, say Church leaders.
In 2013, Romanian anti-Christian activist Remus Cernea proposed legislation legalizing same-sex “marriage,” which was met with fierce opposition from Orthodox Church leaders. Archbishop Teodosie Petrescu said that Cernea was led into temptation by the Devil and that he requires the services of a psychologist and of a priest.
The Orthodox Church enjoys the trust and support of the Romanian people generally. Cernea’s proposal was soundly rejected.
In Croatia, a similar constitutional referendum supporting natural marriage passed with 65 percent of voters in favor.