SOFIA, Bulgaria, November 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The leader of Bulgaria's 4.3 million Orthodox Christians is strongly backing a definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
Pressure from more liberal countries in the European Union (EU) has prompted a “European Citizens' Initiative” dubbed the “Mum, Dad & Kids Initiative.”
Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Neophyte sent a letter of support for the initiative that insists on an official common definition of both “marriage” and “family” for the EU.
In Patriarch Neophyte's encyclical, he states that Christianity “is the guardian of traditional marriage,” and that the Orthodox Church gives her blessing to the initiative.
Pro-natural marriage conservatives across the continent are responding to “the increased undue pressure from Brussels in recent years to redefine marriage.”
In June 2015, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans directed the Commission to “try to get all member states in the EU to unreservedly accept same-sex marriage as other marriages.”
The “Mum, Dad & Kids Initiative” is gaining popularity in Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, Sweden, France, Portugal, and Germany.
“The State recognizes marriage not because it cares about feelings but because the renewal of generations and the raising of children guarantee the future of the nation,” the initiative's website explains.
The initiative proposes an official definition of “marriage” as “a union between a man and a woman,” and that “family” be “based on marriage and/or descent.”
While the initiative calls for a universal definition of marriage and family, it “fully respects the competence of each Member State to legislate on marriage and family.”
Bulgaria’s post-Soviet Union constitution (1991) flatly states that marriage is “a free union between a man and a woman.”
The initiative needs the signatures of one million EU citizens by December 10 to be discussed by the European Commission. It is currently a third of the way toward the goal.
Simultaneously in Romania, the Orthodox Church dramatically demonstrated its influence by garnering three million citizen signatures for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Romanian Patriarch Daniel said his nearly 17 million faithful “must support the Church’s effort to protect the natural, traditional and universal family.”
In Croatia, a similar amendment referendum overwhelmingly passed (65 percent) in 2013.