The Greek Orthodox Church, considered the predominant religion of 90% of the population in Greece, opposes the proposal.The Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece issued a unanimous ruling last month stating that same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples are unacceptable.
The Holy Synod report stated, “Obviously, the State legislates, but this parameter neither deprives the Church of its freedom of speech nor exempts the Church from the duty to inform the faithful people, nor can it indicate to the Church what constitutes sin. The Church does not legislate and is not responsible for the laws. If it remains silent, however, it bears a grave responsibility and abolishes itself.”
Mitsotakis argues that the legislation is a matter of equality, aiming to prevent the creation of different classes of citizens and ensuring that all children are treated equally. He made it clear that the decisions made by the Greek State are separate from theological beliefs and that his government has addressed practical matters concerning the clergy.
The controversy surrounding the legislation highlights the growing divide between secular Greek leaders and the religious identity of the country. Mitsotakis acknowledged that historically, there have been disagreements with the Church on issues such as civil marriage, cremation, and the removal of religion from Greek identification documents. However, he emphasized that these changes have proven to be necessary and have not had any negative impact on society or the relationship between the State and the Church.
The prime minister and the coalition are expected to pass the proposal on February 15th.