‘Horrifyingly high’ abortion rate must be cut, says head of Russian Orthodox Church

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Reuters Russia's Patriarch Kirill has blamed the country's demographic decline on the number of abortions.

Reuters
Russia’s Patriarch Kirill has blamed the country’s demographic decline on the number of abortions.

Source: Christian Today

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill called on Thursday for a deep cut in the “horrifyingly high” number of abortions, which he linked to a Western rejection of moral norms.

“The idea of absolutely prioritising the value of free choice and of rejecting the priority of moral norms has become a slowly exploding bomb for Western civilisation,” he said in a speech to lawmakers.

“If we could just cut in half the number of abortions, there would be steady and powerful demographic growth.”

Russia’s population has been declining since the mid-1990s, hit by falling birth rates and life expectancy in the chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. It currently stands at 142.5 million, compared with 148.7 million in 1991.

Kirill’s speech was described by state media as the first address by a head of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Duma, or lower chamber of parliament, in modern Russia.

It was a sign of the church’s growing influence under President Vladimir Putin, who has sought to champion conservative Russian values at a time of heightened tension with the West, especially over the conflict in Ukraine.

“Russia’s ability to stand up in the face of modern pseudo-values depends to a large extent on the active stance of Russian parliamentarians,” the black-robed patriarch said.

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7 Comments

  1. Tony Dimopolous on

    It’s about time the ROC took a stance. Russia has had the largest abortion rate than any other country for many, many years. This announcement is way overdue. Now, instead of speeches, stop murdering babies!

  2. Mr. Dimopoulos should also aim his fire at the Orthodox Church in Greece, where abortion is allegedly the most common form of birth control. When has anyone ever heard an Orthodox priest sermonize on the sin of abortion? When will we admit that life begins at the moment of conception, and that all of us were once nothing more than two cells joined together? Were we any less ourselves as embryos in our mother’s womb than we are as adults today? We may be critical of the Catholic Church for legitimate reasons, but we must applaud their courage to speak out on behalf of the unborn.

    • Anthony Carris on

      James, Glory to God, in the OCA the Bishops every January send a letter to all Ox. Parishes explaining the evils of Abortion. This year for the first time The Assembly of Cononical Bishops in the USA sent to the March for Life a delegation of Bishops. Read the article in full on this web page…You will be joyful and I believe The Holy Spirit is amongst us…Anthony Carris

  3. Anthony, I am aware of the Orthodox participation in the March for Life this year, and I applaud the action. But I would like to hear a word or two from the pulpit addressing the faithful regarding our Church’s position on abortion. James

  4. Tony Dimopolous on

    What needs to be done in the U.S. is the abortion debate needs to be re-argued at the Supreme Court. The real issue is: When does life begin and Is abortion murder. These two issues were decided by faulty info in 1973 with a faulty result. Scientist know that life begins at conception and murder is illegal. Not a women’s issue, but murder.

  5. Patriarch Kirill falsely attributes the prevalence of abortion in Russia to Western influence. It is, rather, a lingering result of Soviet communism. The Soviet government prohibited other means of contraception, making abortion the only available means of birth control. This was part of the communist program to undermine traditional morality, and it was wildly successful.

    In propagating the modernist agenda, Russia was a leader, not a follower; it was a perpetrator, not a victim. It is time Russia owned up to its sins and repented instead of scapegoating outsiders.

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