CWN - The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has forcefully denied that he dissents from the teaching of the Church on homosexuality.

“Some call you the most liberal head of the Ukrainian Church and that your views on homosexuality are very tolerant,” a journalist asked Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who is 43. “Do you believe [homosexuals] should at minimum have the right to civil unions and at maximum to marriages in the Ukrainian Church?”

The prelate replied:

I will attempt to answer this question expressing my views on this matter, then let the author of this question judge for himself whether I am a liberal or a conservative.

In accordance with the teaching of the Church, homosexual behavior is a grave sin which calls to heaven for vengeance. This is a group of very grave sins for which the Lord God Himself is the One Who repays. To these sins, which call out to God for vengeance, belongs also, for example, willful murder. In terms of gravity, the sin of homosexuality is comparable to that of murder. Therefore, if we are talking today about the right to have a homosexual "relationship," then we must also talk about the right to murder. Therefore, we cannot talk about the right to sin, for that is a view, which is self-contradictory.

Aside from that, Sacred Scripture succinctly and clearly condemns this type of behavior. For example, if the author of this question would read the first chapter of St. Paul's letter to the Romans (he would see that) the Apostle Paul clearly states that people who live in this way dishonor their bodies and that this is a manifestation of their spiritual blindness.

I don't want to judge those persons; I am not against any person. But, I am against sin, just as the Church is against the sin, but is for the person, because the person who is living this type of life, who sins, is wounding and destroying himself. And, therefore, the Church is against the sin yet protects the person and his dignity.

The conversation, which took place more than a year ago, has recently been translated into English.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Ascension

You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit; * through this blessing they were assured * that You are the Son of God * the Redeemer of the world! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When You fulfilled the divine plan for us * and united things on earth with things in heaven, * You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, * in no way departing from us but remaining inseparable, * and crying out to those who love You: “I am with you, and no one is against you.” (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her." (Proverbs 8:10,11 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are given over to God's will, and they bear all things with fortitude for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this world but the man who is giver over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass.

Archimandrite Sophrony