Orthodox and Catholic Church Commented on Lukashenko’s Words About Celibacy

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The Orthodox and Catholic Churches in Belarus representatives has commented the Aleksandr Lukashenko’s attack on the celibacy of several representatives of clergy made on 29 April during the annual address to Belarusian people and parliament.

According to belapan.com, while commenting on Aleksandr Lukashenko’s words that “a person without children is not a human being” and that is hence the priests “are hush-hush doing something somewhere “, the representatives of Orthodox and Cathoic Churches reminded the reason of several priests not having a family.

Protopriest Syarhey Lepin, Belarusian Orthodox Churh press secretary, reminded that the vow of celibacy is given by monks and that beginning from bishop rank all priests are monks: “A married priest cannot become a bishop without taking monastic vows. According to the rule, all Orthodox bishops do not have families. The head of Belarusian Orthodox Church does not have a family because he is a monk”. Also he added :”We do not have any doubts about the bishops of Belarusian Orthodox Church retaining celibacy and leading a pious life accodring to the traditions of Orthodox church”.

Priest Yury Sanko, the acting press secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference stated that “All Catholic priests do not enter into a marriage, hence they do not have a sexual life. Celibacy is one of the vows that a person takes conciously and it is very important for the representatives of Catholic Church”. He also mentioned that for many priests the parish substitutes a family and reminded also bout the parctice of spiritual fatherhood.

Whille addressing Belarusian people Aleksandr Lukashenko stated: “To talk about families one should have children himself. I often criticize clergy, especially the higher one, in a private surrounding. They are so Pro-Life and Pro-family! When I ask them: Your Holiness, Your Grace, how many children do you have? None. Then why are you agitating? To agitate you have to have children yourselves.  A priest of a higher rank cannot have children? What kind of savagery it is? I am sure they are hush-hush doing something somewhere. I am not lnly sure, I know it. It is normal. To be a human one must have children. If a person does not have children it is not a human being. Sometimes a person is sick. But there many children in orphanages who have not yet been adopted”.

The negative statement of the head of the state caused a strong resonance in social networks and indignation among the believers of both traditional denominations.