Bulgarian Orthodox Church Declares Opposition to Sofia Pride

Society | June 16, 2016, Thursday // 10:47
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Orthodox Church Declares Opposition to Sofia Pride Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit. File photo, BGNES

Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit has issued a statement vehemently condemning the upcoming Sofia Pride parade scheduled for Sunday.

"In the central part of our capital we will once more witness open, intrusive propaganda and public demonstration of homosexualism [sic!] as a way of life," Neofit says in a reference to the LGBT event.

This year, Sofia Pride coincides with the Orthodox holiday of Chereshova Zadushnitsa celebrated in Bulgaria that falls on the last Saturday before the Pentecost.

While showing "pastor's care, responsibility, and love for people" for homosexual people, the Church is determined to oppose "attempts to show a sinful tendency as a norm in our society, as an occasion for pride and an example to follow," his statement reads, circulated by the Holy Synod (the church's ruling body).

Neofit recalls texts from the Bible pointing to the holy union of a man and a woman as a fundamental to society. "Neglect for it leads to spiritual death, both for the individual... and the family and society."

"The modern society, torn from its Christain roots, in its effort to be tolerant and humane, substitutes the understanding of core values like love and freedom and calls homosexualism [sic!] by morally neutral expressions such as "sexual minority" or "different sexual orientation."

"But to love a person, to appreciate and respect them, does not mean to be indifferent to what path they are treading: true or false, a path to salvation or destruction, to life or death".

Over the past months, the church has also been outspoken on the migrant crisis, arguing the country should not let more migrants in as the influx "poses questions about the stability and existence of the Bulgarian state, in principle."

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Tags: Patriarch Neofit, Sofia Pride, LGBT, Bulgarian Orthodox Church

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