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Members of the LGBTQ+ community and supporters celebrate in Athens after the vote to approve same-sex marriage (OSV News photo/Louisa Gouliamaki, Reuters)

Greece’s minority Catholic Church has deplored a parliamentary vote to allow same-sex marriage and child adoption, the first in a predominantly Orthodox country. Source: OSV News.

“Our reaction is clear – the Church doesn’t accept same-sex marriage, and we’re surprised the government pressed ahead so quickly with this measure,” said Archbishop Josif Printezis, secretary-general of Greece’s Catholic bishops’ conference.

The Archbishop spoke as the first same-sex weddings were conducted following the February 15 approval of the bill sponsored by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ centre-right government, which was signed into law a day later by President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

He said the Mitsotakis Government had previously supported Christian teaching and maintained good ties with Greece’s predominant Orthodox Church, which vigorously opposed the legislation, but was widely believed to have been pressured by the European Union to introduce the reform.

In a January 12 declaration, Greece’s Catholic bishops said “changing the definition of marriage and family” would “affect all Greek society,” and they rejected claims by pro-change campaigners that marriage was “simply a legal construct”.

“This proposal is a setback to our legal culture, to morals and culture in general – it marks a point of decline for Greek society,” the bishops said.

Meanwhile, the Orthodox Church of Greece, which claims the spiritual loyalty of most of the population of 10.3 million, “categorically rejected” the legal change in a January 30 open letter to MPs as “a deviation from Christian marriage and the established framework of the traditional Greek family”.

The vote makes Greece the 16th of the European Union’s 27 member-states to allow same-sex marriage and the 37th worldwide, as well as the first of Europe’s 10 traditionally Orthodox countries to enable the practice.


Catholics and Orthodox deplore Greece’s new same sex marriage vote (By Jonathan Luxmoore, OSV News)