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Prière de la congrégation pour le caractère sacré du mariage et la préservation de la famille contre la "fierté monténégrine"

  • October 2022

The day before the “Montenegrin Pride” which was held on Saturday, October 8th in Podgorica under the title “Never more but”, the Serbian Orthodox Church held a Congregational Prayer for the Sanctity of Marriage and Preservation of Family, in the front of the Cathedral Church of the Christ’s Resurrection.

This is for the first time that the Church organized a congregational prayer against the “Montenegrin Pride” since it was first organised 10 years ago. In an invitation addressed to “all those who adhere to traditional values, morals and faith to a congregational prayer with icons but without political symbols, slogans and banners”, the Church stated that, “in our country there are events that directly destroy the God-blessed marriage and family, destroy traditional values” (See Mitropolija).

The Proclamation from Congregational Prayer states that, “we live in a time of instinctive totalitarianism, where sin, selfishness, self-love and personal preferences of individuals are set as a measure of love, truth and freedom” and that “in our capital city, as well as in many cities around the world, parades and performances are held with aim to impose on us, as a society, a disturbed system of values that, according to our deep feelings and convictions, aimed at endangering us under the guise of human rights and freedoms”. It is further stressed that “the FAMILY is the basic cell of every society”, in which “a person first learns the blessed order (…) receiving an education on which he later builds knowledge and multiplies his talents, becoming an active and responsible member of society and community”, as well as that “not only our society and our people, but also civilized Europe is built on those principles”.

The Church underlined that it does not attack anyone, “nor is it in its nature to prevent or impose something by force in any way, and condemns every form of violence, but it has an obligation and responsibility to protect, defend and preserve eternal and imperishable human dignity and that prophetically, taught by biblical centuries-old experience, admonishes, warns and reminds of the word of God, calmly and prayerfully surrendering both oneself and others to the will of God”.

The proclamation continues with emphasizing that “today, we are faced with a real invasion of some perverted values that want to impose themselves on us, with the sole aim of collapsing the blessed, natural order in the family and in society” : “In that system, sin is declared a virtue, evil for good, man-hatred for philanthropy, depriving man of the feeling of sin and shame, and therefore of repentance as the deepest expression of man’s desire to change for the better, to progress and grow.”
The Church noted that “it is imposed that everyone, without exception, must accept that value system and live in accordance with it” : “If anyone opposes this, he is condemned in advance, crucified, stoned and accused of homophobia. We don’t want to interfere with how anyone organizes their life. Nor is it about a personal relationship with anyone in particular. It is about the fact that we cannot accept anyone’s weaknesses, personal preferences and choices that are not in accordance with the order established by God, and which are imposed as a new social norm and rule. We cannot remain silent and accept without a word that the media, education, culture, and political institutions are turned into means of constant and permanent psychological and moral pressure in the service of violent social engineering. We cannot allow that pagan ideology, clothed in the rhetoric of human rights, to change the Christian principles and values that our people have lived by since they knew themselves. We cannot help reminding ourselves and others of the words of Paul, the apostle of the people : ’All things are lawful for me, but all things are not profitable’."

In the days prior to both events, the daily newspaper Vijesti published an article titled “Prayer for the chosen ones. Where was congregational prayer for domestic violence : How does the fight for rights endangers anyone ?” which starts by stating that the Church dids not respond to its journalistic question : how tdoes he LGBT population threaten the family and marriage of heterosexual people ? Vijesti further quotes representatives of LGBTIQ NGOs, who said that, “it is completely clear that the congregational prayer is directed against LGBTIQ persons, characterised even earlier by the Serbian Orthodox Church as destroyers of traditional family”, pointing out that “the real destroyers of families are violent violent people who beat their wives and children almost every day, kill, rape and commit verbal, physical and psychological violence against them, but so far there have been no prayers against violence” (LGBT Forum Progress). They also stressed that, “the announced prayer contradicts what Patriarch Porfirije said during the discussion on the Law on same-sex unions in Serbia, which is that he understands the need for LGBT people to regulate their status, and that they have countless administrative problems, challenges and pressures…”, using this opportunity to “invite all people of good will to come to Pride on Saturday, to fight for equal rights and a dignified life for all people." (Queer Montenegro, see Vijesti).

The Church reacted explaining that, “it does not call for violence, prevent or deny someone’s right to free expression, but asks for a prayer meeting in another place and on another day, precisely in order to reduce the possibility of any conflict”, asking : “Which principle of democracy affirms the right of one group of citizens to gather, and make a bogey out of the gathering of another group ? Especially if both gatherings are registered and organized in accordance with the law. Why the title "Prayer for the chosen ones", when the Church’s invitation does not even indicate that participation in the prayer is forbidden to anyone ? Why mentioning domestic violence in the context of this prayer, when it is not about anything similar, not the same things ?” (See Vijesti).

The public dispute continued even after the “Montenegro Pride”, but one message from this manifestation was a witty moment. Namely, in the form of a banner, the following message was sent from LGBTIQ society to organisers and participants of congregational prayer : “Hold your religious processions ’within four walls’.”

D 13 octobre 2022    ANikola B. Šaranović

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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