Patriarch Ilia II: “I said what I had to. And if I had been silent, it would have been shocking”

In his sermon after the service in the ancient Georgian capital of Mtskheta, at Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II spoke on the Anti-Discrimination Act passed in Georgia in 2014 and on so-called "same-sex marriages," thus responding to the accusations against him by the European Commission in its report on racism and intolerance.

“Today we must think deeper on the issues and questions that our country and Church are facing. Nowadays what has always been a sin is regarded by many people as something natural. And it is astonishing that some people now wish to legalize such a sin as ‘same-sex marriages.’ Homosexuality is such a grave sin that it is considered improper to speak about it in church. The very name of this terrible sin should not be pronounced either.

Glory be to God that our people realize and analyze it and do not support it. The process of globalization in the whole of the world is inevitable and we cannot halt it. But we need to choose from this process only what is profitable for our souls and necessary for our people. The Georgian nation will never be able to accept those things that go against Orthodoxy. And it will not accept them,” Patriarch Ilia said.

“I would like to say a few words on the Anti-Discrimination Act. Georgia is a country which has never oppressed anybody. Georgia is a country where everyone always feels free, but there are some things that can never be tolerated. How can unlawfulness be legitimated? Legalization of abominations is a grave sin. This is precisely what I said before.

I said what I had to. And if I had been silent, it would have been shocking. I must speak about it. No believing person can ever accept the so-called Anti-Discrimination Act. I also want to say that some time will pass and we will be surprised and wonder how in the world could we accept this and pass such a law?”