Polls open Sunday, March 25, in Slovenia for a referendum on the Family Code, which seeks to legalize same-sex unions, allowing them to adopt children.
In view of the upcoming vote, representatives from the Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim communities in the country have signed a joint declaration which reaffirmed the importance of family based on marriage and ask citizens to protect it.
The document—signed by the Catholic Metropolitan of Ljubljana, Archbishop Anton Stres; a representative of the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Metropolitan Province of Zagreb-Ljubljana, Tomo Ćirković; and the mufti of the Islamic community of the Republic of Slovenia, Nedžad Grabus—states that “marriage and family are of utmost importance for the development of the human person and society.” “For this reason we all have an obligation to protect the values of marriage and of family as a community of a husband and a wife, and children.”
The statement urges “all citizens and civil organizations to take a stand for the defence and preservation of family values and for the adoption of appropriate legislation that would protect family life and the basic rights of children.”
The document concludes by emphasising that “family life is the cornerstone of every society and state, which means that the state should be in the service of the family and not the family in the service of the state.”
The full text of the statement appears below:
Religious and cultural values are best transmitted in a family environment
A Statement by communities of faith
We the faithful of the Zagreb-Ljubljana Metropolitan Province of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Islamic Community in the Republic of Slovenia hereby declare that marriage and family are of utmost importance for the development of the human person and society; for this reason we all have an obligation to protect the values of marriage and of family as a community of a husband and a wife, and children.
We the undersigned communities of faith highly appreciate married and family life. Therefore we have committed ourselves to defend the right of every single child to a family environment with both a father and a mother. We strongly and deeply believe that the family is the basic cell of society, in which the values such as love, life, mutual respect, solidarity and hospitality are nurtured in a special way. In addition, family environment is the most fertile ground for the transmission of religious and cultural traditions from one generation to the next. Making same-sex unions equal contenders with heterosexual couples when it comes to adoption of children is therefore unjustified, as same-sex partnerships can never provide the essential and non-interchangable roles of a father and a mother in a family that are crucial for harmonious and wholesome personal development of children.
We the religious citizens have a special vocation to take a public stand on behalf of and for the protection of married and family life, to help families in distress, as well as to support the right of parents to an education for their children that is in agreement with their ethical and religious convictions. We therefore bid all citizens and civil organizations to take a stand for the defense and preservation of family values and for the adoption of appropriate legislation that would protect family life and the basic rights of children. An exclusive emphasis on individual rights to the neglect of institutionalized social relations can in the long run lead any civilization into ruin.
In conclusion, we emphasize that family life is the cornerstone of every society and state, which means that the state should be in the service of the family and not the family in the service of the state. At this point we also wish to thank all the citizens and institutions that are working on behalf of families for their unselfish and noble effort.
Paroh Tomo Ćirković
for the Serbian Orthodox Church the Zagreb-Ljubljana Metropolitan Province
the Metropolitan Archbishop of Ljubljana Msgr. Anton Stres, Ph. D.
for the Catholic Church
Mufti Nedžad Grabus, Ph. D.
for the Islamic Community in the Republic of Slovenia