09 October 2018
Romania

Churches more united after the referendum on the family

The free union "between man and woman" continues to be the foundation of the family. This is what the Catholic Bishops of Romania have stated in a press release issued the day after the country's October 6th - 7th failed referendum results on the proposed changes to their constitution's current gender-neutral definition of marriage. Because of only 21% participation, the 93.4% vote in favor failed due to the less than 30% required voter turnout threshold.

The referendum question referred to amending the Constitution (Article 48) so that it would no longer define a family as a union between “spouses” but as a free-will union between “a man and a woman”, as in fact  stated in the Civil Code (Article  277).  Currently, there is no legal recognition of other forms of cohabitation equated to the family, such as, for example, same-sex marriage or union.

The Church, we read in the Catholic Bishops’ statement, “never stops announcing the Gospel of the family with courage and hope.  In the light of Christ’s teachings, the union between a man and a woman is strengthened and sealed by the sacrament of Holy Marriage conferred by the Church on all those who request it in all sincerity and undertake to live according to the evangelical requirements of loyalty, respect, mutual aid and indissolubility of love.”  At the same time,  the communication states, “the Church encourages parents to be open towards life and accompanies them in taking care of their children’s education”.

Along the same lines, the post-referendum statement issued by the Romanian Orthodox Church.  Urging the people to  “spiritual unity” after the strong  contrasts during the period leading up to the referendum, the Orthodox Church stated that it had  “fulfilled its civic and moral mission in the public space, where the Church affirmed and defended the identity and value of the family as a human institution created and blessed by God”.