During its working session on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, the National Church Assembly urged all Romanian Orthodox citizens to attend the October 6-7 referendum on marriage definition and vote YES to affirm, defend and promote family as an institution blessed by God.
National Church Assembly appeal: full text
The National Church Assembly, comprised of all the hierarchs of the Holy Synod, the representatives of clergy and lay believers within the Romanian Patriarchate’s dioceses, gathered at its session on September 29, 2018, urges all Romanian Orthodox citizens to attend the referendum and say YES to clarifying the text of article 48 of Romania’s Constitution regarding the definition of marriage, that is to replace the ambiguous expression ‘freely consented marriage of the spouses’ with the clearer and precise formulation, ‘freely consented marriage of a man and a woman.’
By this clear and unequivocal clarification in the Constitution of Romania, family is affirmed, protected and promoted as a fundamental human institution created and blessed by God for the increase and perpetuation of humankind, according to the words of the Holy Scripture, ‘So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’ (Genesis 1:27-28)
This family based on marriage between a man and a woman was blessed and honoured by our Saviour Jesus Christ by his presence, and that of his mother and disciples at the Wedding at Cana, where he miraculously transformed water into wine (John 2:1-11), thus showing the sacred value of the conjugal family for the life of the Church. In this respect, Saint Paul the Apostle recommends that the groom’s love for his bride be like Christ’s love for the Church (Ephesians 5:22-25, 32).
The family blessed by God to foster mutual love and give birth to children is a source of life for every nation and for the entire humankind. Therefore, our participation in the referendum on October 6-7, 2018, is an act of professing the faith in God’s love for the family, an act of supreme responsibility for the future of the Romanian people, as well as an exam of spiritual maturity to choose between permanent values and ephemeral ideologies.
The word ‘referendum’ means ‘direct consultation of the citizens to vote on a bill of particular importance to the state or on issues of general interest’ (Explanatory Dictionary of the Romanian Language). Wherefore, the participation of the state’s citizens in this decision-making referendum to define marriage in Romania’s Constitution is a profoundly democratic, patriotic, and national act of particular importance to the entire Romanian people, because votes will be cast for the defence of family based on marriage between a man and a woman, and for the future of the Romanian people’s children.
In fact, article 2 of the Romanian Constitution states that Romania’s national sovereignty is expressed by referendum.
In spite of many aggressive boycott actions and unfair denigration of the referendum, we must defend the sacred gift of human life born from the conjugal love between a man and a woman, thus cherishing the generations of parents and children who have assured the continuity of the Romanian people over the centuries.
Let us therefore honour the 1918 Great Union Centennial, through a great union of reason and national action in defending the Christian family and the future of the Romanian nation!
Chairman of the National Church Assembly,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
The message was read out in all churches of the Romanian Patriarchate on Sunday, Sept. 30, and Monday, Oct. 1, 2018.